Throughout the month of October, I am bringing you all my favorite scary movies to celebrate Halloween with my special feature, A Month of Scary Movies with Kristina! So keep scrolling to check out today’s movie and stay tuned for more to come throughout the month! Happy haunting, slashing or whatever tickles your scary bone!
Director: Andrew Douglas Producer: Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor) Screen Writer: Scott Kosar (novel by Jay Anson with material from George and Kathy Lutz, and 1979 Screenplay by Sandor Stern) Actors: Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern), Melissa George (30 Days of Night), Philip Baker Hall (Rush Hour), Chloë Grace Moretz (Let Me In) Film Score Composer: Steve Jablonsky (Transformers) Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Plot Summary: In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and Kathy’s three children moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville, a suburban neighborhood located on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Thirteen months before the Lutz’s moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family at the house. After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there.
When my parents figured out that I had a passion for Movies and Books, they gave me some advice that I have always followed: If there is a Movie based off a book, read the book first before you see the movie. Even when I was young, I had a love of Horror movies and when I found out there was a horror movie based on a book I ran to the Library to rent the book so I could read it before I saw the movie. Boy was I in for a shock when I found the book in the non-fiction section of the city public library. Yes you heard me right: NON-FICTION. The book was less than 100 pages and it took me two weeks to read it, because I kept shoving the book into my sock drawer!! What an amazing, scary book!! I couldn’t wait to see the movie!! The first time I saw the movie I saw the Original Amityville Horror filmed in 1979 and loved it! Followed the book perfectly!! Then in 2005 I saw the remake (it had Ryan Reynolds in it, who wouldn’t want to see it), and again I was blown away!!! The movie starts out with George and Kathy Lutz and Kathy’s three children from a previous marriage, moving into what seems like their dream home in Amityville on Long Island. That is when the fun happens, as each member of the family starts experiencing strange, haunting activities in the house. George starts complaining about how cold the house is getting, getting sick, and seeing ghost at 3:15am every morning and it is causing him to be short tempered and taking it out on the step children. Daughter Chelsea claims she has a friend that only she can see, which turns out to be the youngest of the Defeo children. BillIy finds out about the brutal murder that happened in the house by the previous owners and is rebelling. And little Michael stuck in all the bazaar happenings is scared out of his 8 year old mind, while Kathy tries to keep an unraveling family falling apart. What an awesome movie!!! The cinematography and direction was really, really good. Even though the movie got horrible reviews from critics when it came out, I must admit, I did not agree with them at all!! Instead of making the movie a typical “haunted house” with all the gore that comes with it, the director chose to add the subtle hallucination aspect to the movie (meaning: if you blink, seriously you will miss it). For example, while George has locked himself in the basement next to the boiler to keep warm, he is watching old home movies of Kathy and the kids. In one instance he is watching Billy smiling and waving to the camera and then for a split second you see a scary demonic face appear over the kids face and then resume Billy’s face. Or how about when Kathy is cooking in the kitchen, she walks out to get something from the closet and comes back and all the magnets on the fridge rearrange themselves from “Home Sweet Home” to “KATCH EM, KILL EM”. And my favorite one: Chelsea’s new toy is a teddy bear that the youngest Defeo was reportedly buried with. Honestly, if you blinked you would miss it!! I really felt it brought a more realistic approach to a scary movie!! I truly believe that sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a point and to scare! The costume and set design was so realistic to the 1970’s from the clothes, cars and how the film itself looked!! Although the film is set on Long Island, it was shot in Chicago, Antioch, Buffalo Grove, and Fox Lake in Illinois and Salem and Silver Lake in Wisconsin. It is so nice to see movies filmed on location instead of a studio or green screen. Don’t be fooled by the house, it is an exact replica of the Original home on Long Island!! The script was AMAZING! With the script being so good it made acting like the characters super easy for the actors! I feel every actor was perfect for their part and no one could have done it better! Ryan Reynolds really proved his self as a diverse actor from doing Comedic Roles to a Scary Step Dad losing his mind and pulling it off. It was so nice to see Melissa George taking a break from TV acting to step out onto the big screen. Her chemistry with Ryan was truly amazing, she really made it look like everyone was a real family instead of actors portraying a family on film. The big surprise is Cloe!! This is Cloe’s first block buster film and she keeps getting better and better with her movies to follow (yes I have seen all of her blockbuster movies). She made the hair on my arse stand on end with her brilliant performance!! When she was trying to tell her mother that Jodie was real and that Jodie was going to take her to her father, it just made me sit at the edge of my seat with frozen horror!! Such amazing ability from such a young actress!!
The Amityville Horror, whether it was the book, original 1979 or remake 2005 movie was awesome. This is one of the rare times I like the remake as much as I liked the original (I am not a big fan of remaking movies). Even though this movie/book is followed by a lot of controversy on how true the advents really are it is a really good haunted house movie. I personally don’t feel any haunted house movie out there can top this House. I am so glad to own the original and remake of this movie. One day I hope to own a hard copy of the book.
Houses don’t kill people. People kill people.
*Disclaimers: Plot summary, movie info and movie trailer image sourced from IMDB.com, sooner.net, & rottentomatoes.com.