Late to the Scary Movies! A review of Amityville Horror

Late to the Scary Movies! A review of Amityville Horror

Prologue by Sarah Peterson Herr:

Kathy Lutz: I just wish that… all those people hadn’t died here. I mean… ugh! A guy kills his whole family. Doesn’t that bother you?
George: Well, sure, but… houses don’t have memories. 
Are you ready to have your mind blown? You’ve been warned…The Amityville Horror was based on a TRUE STORY. I’m sure you already knew that. But, consider your mind blown nonetheless. I’ll drop a little historical background for you.Once upon a time in a suburb of Long Island, New York, there lived a super creepy looking 23-year-old dude named Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. He resided in this Dutch Colonial house with his parents, and 4 siblings. One early November morning, Butch listened to the crazy voices in his head and murdered his whole family. Oh yeah, and he totes claimed that the devil made him do it…well, later he kind of blamed his sister, but who knows. He is currently chilling in a maximum security prison, serving 6 consecutive life sentences. Very creep-tastic…but even more creepery is that the Lutz family (don’t confuse it with the LULZ)  thought it would be an awesome idea to move in to the SAME HOUSE only 13 months after the murders!Hellllo? Are you guys asking to be haunted?Do you want to know what other seriously dumb thing they did??? Well, they paid $400 to KEEP the dead family’s furniture in their new home with their happy little family. [They deserve to die] Anyway, the Lutz family only stayed in the house for 19 days and then too many spooky things happened so they left. During their stay they reportedly:  awoke nightly at 3:15 (around the time of the DeFeo murders); were infested with random annoying flies; had a demonic pig-like creature living with them; Papa Lutz started acting like good ole’ Butch, and they had a creepy exorcism/house blessing go awry…no biggie. When Papa Lutz started hearing the voices, THEN they decided it was time to get out…and have Jay Anson write a book about their horrific story. Cha-Ching! Guess what? They totally sold the movie rights and the Amityville Horror franchise began.On a “WHAT?! You haven’t seen ______???” scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest level of shock, disappointment and sad): Laura deserves a 7…now, now, stop with the angry face and let me explain. Amityville is the basis for NINE, count em’ 9, magical movies. At some point, you probably should have caught one of them on TBS or SyFy. Plus, how could you possibly miss the 2005 version with Ryan Reynolds playing Papa Lutz!?!?!? The only saving grace is that you are finally seeing it and lucky for you, there are 8 others to keep you busy for many more hours.

LTTM movies:

I started out liking this movie. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve seen Candyman too many times but there’s something about bees and flies and bugs that I find pretty creepy. The same goes for basements– I’ve always been that person who gets nervous and runs up the stairs to leave a basement quickly. I attribute this habit to Home Alone, I think. I love James Brolin, aka Mr. Barbra Streisand, and thought Margot Kidder did a pretty good job of not annoying me (I usually don’t like female characters in horror films because I’m a sexist pig). The child actors didn’t annoy me either, which is quite an accomplishment. The dog was cute. All very, very good things.

But then the movie ended.

Me: …Oh.
Kevin (from the kitchen): What’s wrong? Did it suck?
Me: No, it didn’t suck. It just… no one died.
Kevin (from the kitchen): *tsk tsk* No excellent deaths.

(He really gets me.)

I pretend to be deeper and analytical in thinking about what I like in scary movies. And the truth is that I love excellent deaths. Even crappy movies like Pet Sematary and Sleepaway Camp (and Final Destination) can be saved by the entertainment value of hilarious, excellent deaths.

And no one (except for the family at the beginning) dies in Amityville Horror. Not the dog (thank god). Not the priest. Not the weird business partner. Not Kathy. Not no one, not no how.

There was one scene where Kathy dreams that George kills her with an axe and that had some potential. But I needed more deaths. I have needs. I was a tad disappointed (and un-scared).

I am a terrible person.

AND I totally agree with Sarah. If you move into a murder house and you keep the furniture, you deserve what’s coming to you.

Yep. I’m definitely terrible.

Face palm moment: NEEDS MOAR DEATHS.

Favorite part: The babysitter with headgear, being locked in the closet. Headgear is the greatest. Being locked in the closet would be more annoying to me than scary, and I’d definitely want to kill any child who didn’t unlock the door.

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: “…houses don’t have memories.” I mean, I could have guessed that came from here but I liked that set-up.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): I’ll go with 7/10 to match Sarah’s scale. I definitely needed to see this one since it’s the basis for about 100 other films.


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