The Amityville Horror (1979) – 2 out of 5
Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I’ve been pretty much only watched horror films all of October even though I’m impossible to scare. I watched good ones, cheesy ones, new ones and classic ones and one night I decided to pull out a classic I haven’t watched since I was in high school…The Amityville Horror.
For you younglings, The Amityville Horror is, supposedly, based on a true story about a house where a man, at the behest of voices in the house, kills his entire family. A year passes and the house goes up real cheap (the higher the body count, the lower the asking price) and George Lutz (James Brolin) and his new family move in. However, in a matter of a few weeks things start to get intense. Before the boxes are even moved off the truck, the wife; Kathy (Margot Kidder) sends in a priest; Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) to bless the house only to be assaulted by an onslaught of flies, a tummy ache and a voice that utters, “Get Out.” Afterward, George becomes increasingly sick and aggressive and the youngest girl in the house begins talking to an imaginary friend—and we all know imaginary friends in horror films are actually ghosts. Kathy starts to do her research on the spooky house and is horrified that an Indian burial ground, devil worshipping cults and possibly meddling teenagers are involved with the home’s history.
|I could easily make a joke about organized religion and what flies are attracted to...|
|Insert vulgar caption involving Superman and those pigtails.|
|Brolin after his wedding night with Barbra Streisand.|
Despite being a massive success when it came out and the fact it went on to become a cult classic, the film was received negatively from the critics which is kinda surprising since the film actually does very little wrong in the form of a horror flick. Sure it doesn’t frighten me but I can see why an average movie-goer would shit their britches over the film. The movie does a great job of creating atmosphere and it does it overwhelmingly well through the growing insanity of George Lutz (Brolin). Brolin (when not looking silly with his fear reactions) did a great job at setting the film’s intensity level with his performance…albeit, this level gets skewed with Margots performance which shows that sometimes 11 just isn’t high enough in the overacting department.
|At one point, Brolin literally turns into a Muppet.|
|She stole those glasses from Clark Kent.|
|Yep, that's probably going to be bad on your septic system.|
Not to mention that those involved with the books fabrication have claimed that the idea came with the Lutz family over “many bottles of wine.” I won’t argue with such marketing, that’s what the game is all about. It’s about openly and blatantly lying to the consumer so they buy your shit and it works. That’s why nearly every single freaking horror movie that comes out is now “based on actually events,” except they now say “inspired by real events” so they can get away with taking a lie and blowing up to cosmic levels.
|Haunted houses just make this priest angry.|
The Amityville Horror can be a pretty scary classic horror film…for the average movie viewing individual. Since long ago the feeling of fear packed its bags and left my body for more inviting lands (I’m telling you, there is a person out there who absorbed my ability to feel fear and now get scared over every little thing…like finding out you just took a sip from a day old expired milk will send this person into a coma—the producers of the Paranormal Activity franchise is desperately trying to locate this person in order to sell the world that their movies are actually scary and not—in no way—a sleeping aid I use when I can’t get any Zzzz’s.) The movie tells a decent ghost story and it went on to lay the ground work for an awful franchise (which, people are still using to cash in on) and it went on to inspire a legion of cliché haunting horror movies for decades.