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The Amityville Horror (1979)
much ado about nothing
I just visited the actual house in Amityville, NY, and then I watched the original film. Terrible, but not totally unwatchable, film. Nothing "scary", just a lot of doors and windows bangin' shut, flies, sludge in toilets, the daughter has a (supposedly) imaginary evil friend, and a "red room" is discovered in the basement. Rather dull and much too long at 2+ hours. Of course the actors (James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger) totally emote. The most hilarious scene is of the braces-wearing, pony-tailed babysitter getting locked in a closet. The door slams shut behind her and she can't get out. So what does she do? She doesn't try to push the door open using her full body weight. Instead she pounds and knocks on the door over and over while sobbing. Oh yeah, THAT'S how you open a stuck door! FAKE.
The movie was filmed in Toms River, NJ, *not* at the actual house in Amityville, NY. It's so obvious (to me) that the movie house isn't the real thing. The movie house's crescent-shaped windows are HUGE, the crescent-shaped windows face the water (river) in back of the house and not the street (as they did in real life), and the movie house's yard is much larger than the real life house's yard. FAKE.
Plus in real life, the Lutz family lived in the house from mid-December 1975 until late January 1976. But in the film there is no snow, there is no Christmas tree in the house, and everyone is outside without coats on. FAKE.
I think in real life the married couple concocted the "evilness" with the help of their priest. I wonder how the three individuals came into contact with the book's author and how much the three individuals were paid for their collaboration (conspiracy).
I think the REAL story, if there is an actual "real" story, is that the married couple could not handle the psychological burden of knowing that they were living in a house where six murders took place only one year before they moved in. At first they were happy to buy the house at such a good (heavily discounted) price but slowly they came to grips with the eeriness of living in such an infamous place. I want to remake the film and focus the story on how the family (and priest) became more and more unhinged by this psychological burden and NOT by clichéd acts of the devil they supposedly witnessed.