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The Amityville Horror

2005 horror film directed by Andrew Douglas for United Artists and Dimension Films

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More then just another re-telling of the quasi-factual Amityville Horror

  • Jan 18, 2007
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Just the name of this film constitutes a long sigh - 'How many times are they going to make this hokey story into yet another film?' And yet the current team of director Andrew Douglas, screenwriter Scott Kosar (based on Jay Anson's novel) and a cast of fresh faces to the genre carry off this much told tale with vigor and a good dollop of tension.

For starters the film opens with the re-enactment of the 'actual crime'. Apparently in 1974 Ronald DeFeo (here Brendan Donaldson) murdered his parents and siblings in a terrific old house in Amityville, NY. One year later the Lutz family discovers their dream house and buys it outright, opening their next 28 days to visions of ghosts, terror, demons, hallucinations and pathological changes among themselves until they finally flee the haunted house.

From the start we know that contractor George Lutz - Ryan Reynolds - (the new husband of Kathy) - Melissa George - has problems establishing himself as the 'stepfather' to reluctant children Billy (Jesse James), Michael (Jimmy Bennett) and Chelsea (Chloƫ Grace Moretz). Once the family is ensconced in the house Chelsea begins to play with the ghost of Jodie DeFeo (Isabel Conner) and George's personality changes as a result of the house's curse. It all comes down to terror in the requisite thunder, lightning and rain of all horror films until the family hits crisis state and leaves the house behind.

The ghost effects are well done and the cinematography by Peter Lyons Collister and the musical score by Steve Jablonsky create a dark, ominous atmosphere. But the real reason to watch this little thriller is the work of Ryan Reynolds as George, released from his usual silly potty mouth roles in teenie films to show that he indeed can act, and keep his own brand of edgy humor intact - and that is no slight feat. Fortunately he is given the opportunity to display his extraordinarily hunky physique throughout the film, reason enough to see the movie! Melissa George is likewise excellent as the tortured mother and is a perfect foil for Reynolds. Not a great film, but certainly one that exceeds expectations set by previous forays into this overused story. Grady Harp, January 07

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More The Amityville Horror (2005 mo... reviews
review by . November 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Im not one of those people whi are easily scared when watching todays "horror" films with the exception of one movie (ok william do you remember what it is...this is a test lol) so it was no suprise that this movie didnt even come close to scaring me. It is a remake, but having never seen the origional i cant judge on the remake quality. But if you are one of those people who is scared of those "jumpy" types of movies where you are fully prepaired for whats coming and jump anyway when it happens, …
review by . June 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I saw the original Amityville Horror movie and was scared to death, so I wanted to see this remake, especially after learning that Michael Bay, producer of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was producing it. He did a frightening job with that one.    This movie is based on the fact that a family of six was brutally murdered in a real house in Amityville, New York in 1974. It starts with an unsuspecting young couple and their children moving into the house which is now haunted by an …
Quick Tip by . June 14, 2010
Couldn't sleep for days!
review by . May 05, 2009
The Amityville Horror remake is a flat out disaster. The remake was highly unnecessary and pretty terrible. There was a lot of things about this movie that I just didn't like. It lacked pacing, substance and actual scares. Slapping together bloody scenes, nasty set pieces and bad acting doesn't make a movie. I couldn't believe how bad this movie was. The original was no classic either but it's a classic compared to this mess. Hell, the first three movies were way better than this tripe (that's not …
review by . September 14, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR is a scary-house movie. It's one of those films about a house being haunted. The film is very loosely based upon a real-story about the Lutz family and the DeFeo family. The DeFeos were the original owners of the Amityville house and 28 days after moving in the father of the family went insane and killed his entire family. Years later the Lutz family purchases the house and moves in. Soon afterwards some really bizarre things start to happen: they start seeing ghosts, the wallpaper …
review by . October 30, 2006
This movie remake was pretty good. Even though I saw the original movie and knew what was coming, I did jump out of my seat a few times for it also put a chill up my spin.    There were several scary scenes that were excellent; "The Amityville Horror" delivers just that, fast pacing and some pretty effective jumps by using some cheap shock effects. Since this is a remake it is forgivable that it doesn't come up with anything remotely new or original. There's the ever so familiar …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #40
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie


A 2005 remake of The Amityville Horror.

Most horror movies establish an atmosphere of normalcy, which they gradually rupture with spooky or creepy or stomach-churning images.The Amityville Horror--a remake of the 1979 movie about a possessed house that torments the family that moves into it--tosses normalcy out the window in the first five minutes, unleashing a nonstop barrage of unsettling camera angles, decaying wood and stained wallpaper, half-glimpsed shadows in motion, fast edits of grotesque ghosts, and dozens of other horror-movie devices. Whether you like the movie will depend on whether you like feeling slightly nauseated and cut off from any semblance of reality--for many people, that's why they go to horror movies. Others won't be able to suspend disbelief that anyone but an actor would spend the time necessary to develop Ryan Reynold's insanely buff physique, prominently displayed as he runs around wearing nothing but a pair of loose-fitting pajama bottoms. In addition to Reynolds (Van Wilder,Blade: Trinity), the movie also features Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia) and Melissa George (Down With Love).--Bret Fetzer
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"Scary House....Not."
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