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The Amityville Horror (2005)


Duration 1h 30m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A novel by Jay Anson published in 1977 inspired the events of 1974 when Ronald DeFeo Jr shot and killed six members of his family and the subsequent occupation of the house by the Lutz family.
Director Andrew Douglas
Writers/Script Scott Kosar (Sandor Stern the earlier screenplay and material from George and Kathy Lutz)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Chloë Grace Moretz, Rachel Nichols, Phillip Baker Hall

Elevator Pitch: The Lutz family, husband, wife and three children buy a house at a bargain price. It comes with five bedrooms gardens, foreshore and a boathouse but also some spooky history due to the fairly recent killing of a whole family by one of the sons. As time passes the family are affected by strange events and horrific manifestations and it becomes evident that the husband has become someone else, and that the rest of the family are at risk.

Content: There is one sexual event interupted by a ghostly vision. The house is constantly menacing, doors open and shut on their own, curtains flap in the breeze when there is no wind and we, the audience, see shadows moving even when the family don’t see anything. One of the children sees the ghost of a child with a bullet hole in the head, also seen by the baby sitter, who is taken away strapped to a stretcher. The husband becomes increasingly threatening, often dragging a big axe about.

A View: The critics who saw this did not like it much, fairly predictably, although some said it was better than the previous versions, of which there have apparently been a number. Although the final reveal was not actually signalled to us by that time I had lost interest, and I wondered why they had not just left the house earlier when they could have done. However it made quite a bit of money, so some people liked it, so maybe a watch for nothing while doing something else.

Additional Info: George Lutz claimed, up to the time of his death in 2006, that he should have been consulted about this remake, but despite taking action against the studio never even got a reply.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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