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< Entertainment >

New Movie Reviews

"The Amityville Horror"

by Michael Handorf
Handorf@comcast.net

Ryan Reynolds. Melissa George. Horror.

Synopsis: A young couple gets a great deal on a magnificent riverfront home on Long Island, only to find that they can’t complete one month’s worth of residence there.

Review: Rent the original. This new version has a few jolts, but they are all derived from the modern horror genre’s patented ‘things moving quickly in the background or appearing in mirrors’ components.

It’s 1975. George Lutz (Ryan Reynolds) and his wife Kathy (Melissa George) want to participate in the American dream, so they find themselves looking at 412 Ocean Avenue - a 17 th century Dutch Colonial that is ridiculously under priced. (The actual residence is 112 Ocean Avenue.)

Of course, the audience knows why the home is so undervalued.  The beginning of this film outlines the multiple murders that took place one year earlier, so the suspense surrounding why these things are happening is all but lost here. The Lutzes are told about the six murders, but that doesn’t deter them. “Houses don’t kill people, people kill people,” remarks George.

This version is ambitious in that it tries to incorporate a gruesome back-story through the all-too-typical library research and flashback montages. Reynolds is a fine comedic actor, but his limits are stretched here. I’m guessing that he thought this was a remake of The Shining.

The effects are a little bit better this time around, but it’s tough to compare this to the original, given that I saw the original as a teenager and it freaked me out.  

There isn’t one scene in this new version that comes close to that scene in the original film when the Lutz’s daughter is talking to Jodi, represented by a rocking chair that is rocking, but no one is in it.  Of course, the chair stops rocking immediately as Mrs. Lutz enters her daughter’s room.  That was scary.

OVERALL GRADE: C+

 

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