On November 13, 1974, police received a frantic phone call that led them to a grisly crime scene at the DeFeo residence in Amityville, Long Island--an entire family had been slaughtered in their beds. In the days that followed, Ronald DeFeo confessed to methodically shooting his parents and four siblings while they slept. He claimed voices in the house drove him to commit the murders.
One year later, George and Kathy Lutz and their children moved into the house thinking it would be their dream home. But shortly after settling in, bizarre and unexplainable events began to occur--nightmarish visions and haunting voices from an evil presence still lurking within the house.
28 days after moving in, the Lutzes abandoned the home, lucky to escape with their lives. Now, 30 years after the shocking real-life events that inspired one of the most popular horror stories of all time, return to the house that started it all: The Amityville Horror.
Moviegoers are often averse to the notion of remakes, especially in the horror genre. Fans can be so adamant in their dislike for modernized versions of their old favorites that they can sometimes be blind to the shortcomings of the originals. But let's face it: a lot of horror flicks from the '70s and '80s, classics though they may be, were crap, and are just begging to be remade. Occasionally, these remakes even surpass their source material.
Such is the case with 2005's version of The Amityville Horror. Though it stumbles in the closing moments, the majority of the movie is filled with fun scares, genuine tension, and some unnerving shocks. Ryan Reynolds (yeah, "Van Wilder") turns in a surprisingly strong performance as George Lutz, and adds a dramatic layer that wasn't present in the first Amityville. Who would have thought that he could portray such effective intimidation? We get to see George deteriorate from a happy family man into a psycho pile of crazy over the course of the story, and that's some good stuff.
We recommend The Amityville Horror to anyone looking for some entertaining scares, especially if you're getting tired of all these knockoffs of Japanese movies that keep repeating the theme of restless spirits of little girls with wet hair.
Click on a thumbnail to view the full-sized picture.