HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
Funeral Home, The
Sailors Three
Bill & Ted Face the Music
Josep
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Amityville Horror, The Likely Storeys
Year: 2005
Director: Andrew Douglas
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloë Grace Moretz, Rachel Nichols, Philip Baker Hall, Isabel Conner, Brendan Donaldson, Annabel Armour
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: One night in November 1974, around quarter past three and in a house in Long Island, Ronald DeFeo (Brendan Donaldson) takes a shotgun and murders his family. After raising the alarm himself he is arrested and claims that he heard voices telling him to do it, but nevertheless is imprisoned for the crime. The next year, the now empty house has yet to be bought until a young married couple, George Lutz (Ryan Reynolds) and his wife Kathy (Melissa George) see it as the ideal place to bring up Kathy's children from her previous marriage. However, whatever demons lie in the building are restless and soon the Lutzes will be embroiled in a terrifying ordeal...

"Based on a true story" it says at the start if this film. Based on a true story. Is it wrong to add so much to a story that was factually dubious in the first place, because that's what they try to get away with here. The real George Lutz was not at all happy with the revised version of the events that caused him to vacate his new house back in the mid-seventies, and took legal action, but did he have a case? Scripted by Scott Kosar, there's so much stuff in here that wasn't in the original account that you may well wonder why they bothered to call it a remake at all.

Of course, the reason it's still called The Amityville Horror is that true story tag carries a lot of impact. It also excuses the film makers from hanging the scary events around a narrative, indeed this movie is virtually plotless, throwing up one damn thing after another. The aspects of the original film, which was no masterpiece if you'll remember, that gave it resonance, such as the religious angle or the plunging of the family into financial peril, are largely dismissed in favour of a relentless succession of shocks and elaborate displays of special effects, all with diminishing power.

Although set in the seventies, little attempt has been made to conjure up the feel of the period - this could all be contemporary 2005, which it was in this instance. When the Lutzes move in, we already know that the three children haven't entirely accepted George as their new father, and this relationship will grow increasingly strained as the film wears on. But any suspense that might arise from there possibly being a haunting is swiftly dissipated when a host of apparitions make their presence felt, with daughter Chelsea (star of the future Chloë Grace Moretz) making friends with the ghost of one of the dead DeFeo daughters (no sign of any phantom pigs this time, however).

You get the impression that even though the film opens with a massacre, the film makers were just itching to kill one of the characters off yet are frustrated by the "based on fact" underpinnings. They do make sure the dog is axed to death by a hallucinating George, but that's about as far as they can go - needless to say, that never happened to the Lutzes' pooch. It's Reynolds who is mainly the focus of the haunting, as he is attacked in the bath, chops logs incessantly and generally lets the oppression of the house get to him, but any psychology of his condition is shallow amongst the flashy presentation. In the end, any fear you might have felt will be replaced by the rolling of eyes while the over the top events mount up, as if strenuous sensationalism is the only step up for yet another seventies remake. Music by Steve Jablonsky.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5784 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: