The Amityville Horror (1979) Throwback Film Review

★★★★

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

Written by: Sandor Stern, Jay Anson, George Lutz

Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger and Murray Hamilton

Throwback Film Review by: Rachel Pullen


The Amityville Horror (1979) Film Review

The Amityville Horror (1979) Throwback Film Review

We are living in a time of having to choose, do we get rid of Netflix or stay loyal despite the rising prices and addition of ads? My plan is to lose The Flix and stay with Prime, and why you may wonder? Prime has ads, Prime even makes you pay for certain titles! And while this is all true, they have, hands down the best selection of B-rate #horror movies around and I live for them.

And while I waded around in titles such as llamageddon and Killer French Fries, I started to notice something; there are a lot of sequels to the Amityville Horror…a lot! 10 in fact, and I, your prestigious and dignified, favourite film critic, am going to take on a task so mammoth, it’s harder than reaching the top of Everest, watching them all so you don’t have to.

Let us start at the top: the 1979 classic, The Amityville Horror.

If you don’t know the story already, I shall catch you up: young couple George and Kathy Lutz move into a beautiful old house that is going super cheap! Something that we now as a society will never know, but let’s continue…The family, blissfully unaware of its evil past, move on in and feel swell and grand, people are wearing flares, it’s the 70’s things are mustard coloured, whoooo the 70’s, glowing red eyes appear at the children’s window…not the 70’s.

That is because the home they purchased was not only built on an Indian burial ground, but then some satanic priest lived there, and to top it off, not months before they brought the damn thing a young man slaughtered his whole family while they slept in their beds…I mean in this economy I don’t think that would stop many people anymore, but remember…the 70’s.

Stuff starts to get super ham in the family home, the dad is all moody and only cuts wood and looks at the boathouse, windows shut on kiddies’ hands, priests come, and flies appear, basically, the house is a real bummer for anyone who visits, and despite their best religious efforts, the house seems to be winning.

So, after much research and weird burial site discovery, the dad goes full Jack Torrence and tries to kill his family, and like all good wives Kathy stops him, and they escape the house never to return, I would take it…seriously, renting is killing us all, gimmee the murder house.

This Amityville Horror is a 70s classic, the clothing, the weird softcore love making scene, the super red blood, it’s got it all! And to top it off it’s a well thought out and developed story, that builds and climaxes at just the right place. We are not thrown in at the deep end, we are not exposed to a literal evil being, chasing them down the halls. In a way, the house starts by almost gas lighting the family into believing that it could just be reasonable situations, then maybe they are tired, no wait am I mad? And so on…

Unlike a lot of horrors of the time, considering we were moving into the slasher era, there is no real physical manifestation of evil, it is simply an idea, a presence that stalks the family, as an audience, we watch over an hour of a family questioning their own reality, and the true horror unfolds with the mistrust of each other, the falling apart of a person’s physical and mental health, all at the hands of something that cannot be seen, and not being understood by those you love is sometimes the worst horror of them all.

So onwards, I now dive into 9 more films of a house being mad at people…I’m ready, but what have we learnt this week?

  • Houses were once cheap.
  • Everything was once mustard.
  • And if your husband checks the boathouse a lot…he was once a sailor.

#RachelPullen

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