For the first time in 35 years, Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975. George and Kathleen Lutz's story went on to inspire a... See full summary »
For the first time in 35 years, Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975. George and Kathleen Lutz's story went on to inspire a best-selling novel and the subsequent films have continued to fascinate audiences today. This documentary reveals the horror behind growing up as part of a world famous haunting and while Daniel's facts may be other's fiction, the psychological scars he carries are indisputable. Documentary filmmaker, Eric Walter, has combined years of independent research into the Amityville case along with the perspectives of past investigative reporters and eyewitnesses, giving way to the most personal testimony of the subject to date. Written by
Lost Witness Pictures, LLC
Engaging portrait of a psychologically troubled man
As most of the other reviews have already mentioned, this is not a movie about the events that purportedly happened in the Amityville house in 1975. Instead it's a truly engaging portrait of Daniel Lutz - the 10 year old boy at the center of the events, and it's more about his (potentially abusive) relationship with his stepfather and the media scrutiny that invaded and shaped his life thereafter.
While the documentary is competently made, it's Daniel Lutz himself who is the engine behind how powerful it is. He's a character full of nervous twitches and aggressive, eloquent storytelling. He's clearly got psychological problems and he wears most of them on his sleeve, but you also get a strong sense that this poor guy has a wall of defense mechanisms built up so high that he'll probably never escape it. He jumps in a single beat from being angry and intimidating to being open and borderline in tears. It would take a mean-hearted viewer indeed not to feel some sense of sympathy for him in spite of his abrasiveness.
Director Eric Walter wisely leaves the documentary very open to interpretation. There's no narrative to guide the viewer to a moral conclusion. There's no musical soundtrack to subconsciously push emotional responses. This is just Daniel Lutz, sat in front of a camera and pressed to open up. The theme by the end seems to be an invitation to the viewer to make up their own mind about what happened in that house but with more complex possibilities to choose from than the usual "was it a real haunting or not?" angle. Was it child abuse? Was it fanatical parents leading suggestive children? Was it a structured hoax that inadvertently led to the crumbling of this poor child's life and psyche? Did something paranormal happen but get embellished in a ten year old's mind?
All in all, a very compelling and thought-provoking biographical documentary. Well worth watching.
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