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God's sake, get out!
the Lutz family moves into their new home, they soon learn that
something is wrong, horribly wrong. Over the next few days the
Lutzs will learn the dark history of their house and the ground
it sits on, they will also be pushed to their mental limits. Perhaps
the most well known of the haunted house movies and considered
by many to be a horror classic and even rumored to be based on
actual events, The Amityville Horror may be one of most overrated
flicks of all time.
First off before I take off on this flick, let me say when I saw
this when I was like ten it did in fact scare the hell out of
me, especially the floating pig. But after rewatching the film
last night, I was not as impressed. Now I'm not going to
make fun of the effects, because they were actually still pretty
good and there were still a few scenes that made me panic, like
when the babysitter is trapped, but what made me not enjoy the
film so much this time was the plot.
The plot, which is full of holes, combines way too many things
at one time. You got the Indian burial ground type of thing going,
gateway to hell in the basement and the ever popular father goes
crazy and hacks up his family haunted house vibe going. It is
just way to much info.
James Brolin and Margot Kidder play George and Kathy Lutz. All
Kathy does is dream and scream and all George does is sharpen
an axe the entire movie. Also some of the dialog between the two
is horrible. We also get treated to a priest played by Rod Steiger,
who is about the biggest wimp you will ever see.
The Amityville Horror is one part The
Shining, one part Pet Cemetery and sprinkled with
a bit of Poltergeist,
and all and all just seems to leave a bland taste in your mouth.
For it's time though, I can see where the film gets it's
following from, but after rewatching it almost 15 years later,
it seemed to have lost some of it's glory.
God's sake, get out!
film, and I can't believe it wasn't on here until now.
I've watched it with my kids in the last 6 months and just
assumed it was here! Great review Prime, but I have to take issue
with one statement you made: "The Amityville Horror is one
part The Shining,
one part Pet Cemetery and sprinkled with a bit of Poltergeist,
and all and all just seems to leave a bland taste in your mouth."
All of those movies came after The Amityville Horror,
so that shows that it was an influential film.
In it's day, TAH was the highest grossing independent film
ever, and with good reason. It's one of those films (like
Jaws and the original
The Haunting) where less is more when talking about special
effects. Yes, it does contain a lot of information, but the pacing
is slow enough that it never seems to be too much at the time
(the film is told sequentially, over a period of a week or so).
Some things don't really work any more (the pig eyes, for
example, that used to scare the crap out of me) but my
main problem with the film is the overreacting of all involved
to the house's antics. Other than that, TAH has dated fairly
well and still has an underlying feeling of dread beneath it all
that is still effective. I re-watch this once a year or so. The
Amityville Horror gets a solid 6 out pf 10 shit-covered dogs
Stuart Rosenberg, Jay Anson, Sandor Stern
James Brolin .... George Lutz
Margot Kidder .... Kathy Lutz
Rod Steiger .... Father Delaney
Don Stroud .... Father Bolen
Murray Hamilton .... Father Ryan
John Larch .... Father Nuncio
Natasha Ryan .... Amy
K.C. Martel .... Greg
Meeno Peluce .... Matt
Michael Sacks .... Jeff
Helen Shaver .... Carolyn
Amy Wright .... Jackie
Val Avery .... Sgt. Gionfriddo
Irene Dailey .... Aunt Helena
Marc Vahanian .... Jimmy