The Amityville Horror title

Tag Line : For god's sake, get out!

The Amityville HorrorBased on the book by Jay Anson, which is supposedly based on a true story, the film tells the tale of George and Kathleen Lutz (played by TV actor James Brolin, and Superman co-star Margot Kidder), who have just moved into a new house with their 3 kids and are so thrilled by the low-price they've bought it for, they're totally unconcerned with the fact that one of it's previous occupants went crazy and blasted his entire family with a hunting rifle.

No sooner do they move in though, then all sorts of weird things start happening. Doors and windows slam shut and appear to jam themselves closed. Swarms of flies appear at the back window of one of the rooms, irrespective of the time of year. The occupants hear voices and the local priest (Rod Steiger) visits and suddenly becomes violently ill, after also claiming to hear voices.

Eventually they discover a room behind a walled off area of the basement, which they believe was part of the old building that once stood there, which happened to be an institution for the criminally insane. They then discover an old well under the floorboards, which James Brolin falls neck deep into, before finally abandoning the house during another ghostly attack.

Whilst the movie offers one or two genuine chills, the plot seems to drag along at a snails pace never really amounts to anything. All in all, watch able but relatively dull and boring.

Overall Marks : 4/10.

Other Information.

  • Although set in New York, the film was actually shot on location in New Jersey as the local council wouldn't allow filming there due to residents being sick of all the adverse publicity. The actual Amityville house still stands, although has had its number changed and some of its characteristics altered to make it less obvious to nuisance visitors who want to look round.

  • To date the film has grossed in excess of $80 million in the USA alone and has spawned some 7 unrelated sequels and a remake.

  • The musical score used in the film had originally been recorded for "The Exorcist", but it had been rejected for that film.

  • Don't believe the certain nonsense surrounding this film that states it is based on a true story. Whilst the part about the house's previous residents getting killed was true, the Lutz's story about them fleeing from the house after being attacked by ghosts turned out to be a hoax.

  • The image of the house used on the front of the theatrical posters and video covers is actually a picture of the side of the house, the actual front of the house looks totally different.

  • The true story was, that in the early hours of November 13th, 1974. The DeFeo family's eldest teenage son Ronald took a high powered rifle and killed his parents, two younger sisters and brothers whilst they slept in his family's house located on Amityville River in Long Island New York. DeFeo pleaded insanity at his trial, claiming that he'd heard voices in the house that had told him to do it. But the judge wasn't convinced and rejected his plea, giving him 6 life sentences. 2 years later the Lutz family moved into the house, but abandoned the property after only a few weeks. They then started spreading rumours that ghostly voices and evil spirits had scared them out, although their story changed several times. After their story appeared in print in the book "The Amityville Horror - A True story" and then turned into a hit motion picture, it then emerged that the Lutz's stories where untrue. If you do some research around the web, you'll find gaping discrepancies and flaws in their stories.

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