Anna Ivers returns home to her sister Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother. Her dismay quickly turns to horror when she is visited by ghastly visions of her dead mother.
In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz along with their three children move into an elegant Long Island house. What they don't know is that the house was the site of a horrific mass murder a year before. They decide to keep the house and attempt to keep the horror in the past, but are now haunted by a murderous presence. This is until, George starts to behave weirdly and their daughter, Chelsea starts to see people. What follows is 28 days of sheer, unbridled terror for the family with demonic visions of the dead. Based on the true story of George and Kathy Lutz, The Amityville Horror remains one of the most horrifying haunted house stories ever told - because it actually happened. Written by
If you completely ignore anything and everything that has to do with the Amityville stories, then this is a pretty decent horror flick. Ryan Reynolds turns in a very effective performance, reminiscent of Jack Nicholson in "The Shining." By the end of the flick, i was scared of the dude. The rest of the cast was solid, as well. Lots of scares throughout the film, but a little too much of the "MTV style" editing, especially in the last fifteen minutes or so. But all in all, a decent effort, just like i said.
If you're going into this expecting any resemblance WHATSOEVER to the book, the original film, or any of the stories told over the years, you're going to be severely disappointed. The filmmakers have pretty much left out the events that transpired in the novel and the previous film, and instead they take an extreme amount of liberty with the story and turn it into a series of stylized Hollywood scare tactics. Don't get me wrong, this is still effective, but if you're going to release a movie and promote it as "Based on the True Story" then you might wanna make sure that the movie at least RESEMBLES the original story.
In fact, George Lutz is currently in litigation with MGM films over the content of the movie, claiming that it shows his family in a potentially damaging light. When you see the flick, you'll understand why he's upset. I can't fault the guy.
If they had left the Amityville name off of this one and just released it as some generic haunted house movie, then i wouldn't have so many issues with it. But to even associate it with anything Amityville-related just seems wrong to me, because they have completely screwed it up. I would still recommend the film, and just caution potential viewers to forget everything you've ever seen or heard about Amityville. Otherwise you'll walk out of that theater just as annoyed as i was.
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