6.0/10
88,314
523 user 183 critic

The Amityville Horror (2005)

Newlyweds are terrorized by demonic forces after moving into a large house that was the site of a grisly mass murder a year before.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,854 ( 192)

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dark Water (2005)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building. Adding further drama to their plight, they are targeted by the ghost of former resident.

Director: Walter Salles
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade, John C. Reilly
Dream House (2011)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
The Awakening I (2011)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.

Director: Nick Murphy
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton
Whispers III (2015)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young couple grieving the recent death of their daughter move to the countryside where they are haunted by their tragedy and a sinister darkness.

Director: Tammi Sutton
Stars: Keeley Hazell, Craig Rees, Barbara Nedeljakova
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Director: James Watkins
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds
Silent Hill (2006)
Adventure | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.

Director: Christophe Gans
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
1408 (2007)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
The Others (2001)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Sinister I (2012)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
The Ring (2002)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
Insidious I (2010)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After a family is forced to relocate for their son's health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.

Director: Peter Cornwell
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Martin Donovan, Elias Koteas
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Brendan Donaldson ...
...
Realtor
Rich Komenich ...
Chief of Police
David Gee ...
ER Doctor
Danny McCarthy ...
Officer Greguski
Nancy Lollar ...
Librarian
...
Stitch
Edit

Storyline

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 Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What happened over the next 28 days has never been explained. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror en Amityville  »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,339,417 (UK) (15 April 2005)

Gross:

$64,255,243 (USA) (20 May 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The shortest film out of all the theatrically released Amityville film's with a runtime of 90 minutes opposed to the original film's 115 minute runtime and Amityville I: The Possession (1982) and Amityville 3-D (1983) runtimes of 104 and 105 minutes respectively. See more »

Goofs

When George falls from the house when he is chasing Kathy, he gets really dirty, then when them take him into the boat he is totally clean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The House: Catch them! Kill them!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Phelous & the Movies: Phamityville Horror (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Decent enough for Amityville and haunted house film fans, otherwise approach with caution
25 April 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

A remake of the film by the same name from 1979, which was based on Jay Anson's book about a supposedly "true" haunting, Amityville Horror begins in familiar territory by showing us Ronald DeFeo, Jr. (Brendan Donaldson) murdering his family. A year later, newlyweds George (Ryan Reynolds) and Kathy Lutz (Melissa George), with three kids from her previous marriage in tow, buy the vacant house at a steal, although they hesitate a bit once they learn why it's so cheap. Strange occurrences begin not long after they settle in. George becomes increasingly impatient and hostile, daughter Chelsea (Chloe Moretz) begins seeing the dead DeFeo girl, and so on. The film recounts their very brief but tumultuous stay at the home the Lutz's believed would be their dream home, but which turned into a nightmare.

After seeing the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), which had the same production team, principal scriptwriter and visual effects team, and which I loved--I gave it a 10--I was completely psyched for the Amityville Horror remake. After all, unlike my view of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), which I also gave a 10, I think the 1979 Amityville has more than its share of problems. I like the original in spite of that, but producer Michael Bay and crew had plenty of opportunity for improvement. Unfortunately, although some aspects of this remake are better in my view, it suffers from a host of new problems. Like the first, the assets are good enough to transcend the flaws so that it squeaks by with a very low "B", or an 8.

In my view, there are two primary problems, with at least one a bit ineffable. The more effable problem is that relative newcomer director Andrew Douglas (his previous effort was 2003's relatively little-known documentary Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus) instructs cinematographer Peter Lyons Collister to shoot the film using way too much close framing. I repeatedly felt the urge to take a couple steps back so I could better discern the action, the settings, the staging of scenes, and so on.

The second problem lies more in the realm of writing and editing--the film just doesn't seem to flow right. The transition from scene to scene often feels almost arbitrary. Even though Reynolds does a great job in his transformation as George Lutz (and the acting is superb all around), there was a sense of buildup in the original that this remake is missing. Further indicative of the transition problems, although seemingly minor, is the fact that the date, or the day of the Lutz' stay at the home, is sometimes given as a title and sometimes not. It seems like they just forgot to add the day titles for half of the scenes. Overall the final cut gives an impression of being hastily put together.

And that's a shame, because there is a lot of potential here. The house itself is impressive, as it needs to be, and the overall style of the film is nicely atmospheric. I was also impressed with the production design by Jennifer Williams, which among other assets tends to have the period setting spot-on. For example, I was a huge Kiss, Alice Cooper, etc. fan during this era (and I'm still a fan). Williams has a number of Kiss and Cooper images in the film. She very carefully ensures that none are anachronistic.

Even though scriptwriter Scott Kosar disappointingly expressed a lack of enthusiasm for Anson's book and the original film, he reintroduces a number of elements from the book that work well, but which were left out of the original film. He also introduces new scenarios that in some cases are among the best material of the film--such as a breathtaking sequence on the roof of the home, and the extension of the mythology behind the "haunting". He also greatly improves on sequences such as the babysitter. But on the other hand, he inexplicably changes core elements of the story, like the kind of being that Jody is.

Anyone frustrated with the typical horror style of the later 1990s and early 2000s may find this remake troublesome. As one might expect with Michael Bay producing, Douglas is encouraged to use "MTV-styled" cinematography and editing. There are a number of extended techniques that have become somewhat clichéd in recent years. Douglas has characters do that fast headshaking movement ala Jacob's Ladder (1990). There are sections shot in a cinema vérité style. There are instances of quickly changing film stocks and processing methods, and so on. Even though I usually love all of that stuff, and I'm actually a fan of Bay's work, I have to agree that it's not exactly the most natural fit in this case. But for me, it's not something I would subtract points for either.

Maybe the most surprising fact is that this version of Amityville Horror is so close, structurally, to the original. There is nothing here that is a big surprise, and anyone who has seen the 1979 film a number of times will know exactly what's coming next, or close enough to it. Whether this is positive or not depends on your opinion of the original film, and just how highly you cherish originality for its own sake. Big Amityville fans and big haunted house film fans will probably enjoy the film enough. Everyone else should approach with more caution.


67 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?