The Amityville Horror Review
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Stuart Rosenberg directs James Brolin, Margot Kidder, and others in this horror film that documents the strange happenings of the Lutz family. As the story goes, the Lutz clan found an incredible house for cheap, and they want to move in and settle down. They are more than happy to do so, but there are problems that keep pushing into their happiness, until things really start to come apart.
Haunted houses are nothing new to the idea of horror film, but this one seemed to manifest a whole new level of fear. The slow breakdown of George Lutz is the focus of this film, much like the insanity that happens to Jack Torrance in “The Shining”. As the movie goes through some slow moving plot points, the supernatural starts to settle in and George goes through a transformation that is epic in nature.
With a haunting, you get true fear manifesting through several aspects of the house, and while it doesn’t nearly pay off like many fans think it will, it still has enough frenetic momentum at the end to get you through a tub of popcorn. The strength of the film relies heavily on Kidder and Brolin’s performance, alongside the story that supposedly happened in real life. I can’t testify to the validity, but if real life moves as slow as some of the moments in this movie, then I’m definitely going to be afraid.
The Amityville Horror is tame by today’s standards. Even though it’s rated R and there are some moments that will scare younger viewers, it’s more of a historical cinema piece than anything else. I recommend it as part of a box set, and as a little bit of background into the novel, even though I haven’t read it. Pick it up, and let me know what you think. I just know that I like this version better than the one that stars Van Wilder.
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