The Amityville Horror (1979) - Stuart Rosenberg

October 23rd, 2010
If it is possible this movie is terrifying and boring all at the same time. There are some choice scenes in this movie that really take the cake, they are really scary, and then there are scenes in this movie that are really dull and bland. The movie has this formula of long, drawn out scenes broken up with something creepy or scary. The movie doesn't get repetitive, which is a good thing, its just that some of the scenes that have to do with James Brolin are boring, until the end where the movie picks up again. 

If you didn't know, this movie is supposedly based on a true story about a family that moved into a house where a mass murder occurred the year prior. Soon after the family moves in they realize that the house itself is evil and is trying to drive everyone insane. The scariest element in the movie has to be the sound, with the first scare being a booming voice screeching GET OUT! From there you get other big uses of long silent scenes broken up with a really loud, sudden noise. This seems to be their main method for manufacturing scares and it gets pretty stagnant pretty fast. 

The movie starts out really promising with action and suspense from the beginning, but from there it just starts to become this weird drama where little is developed or discussed. I will spoil a bit of the movie if you haven't it so beware. It's really hard to figure out if George Lutz can understand he is acting like an ass the entire time or even if he comprehends something creepy is happening. You see bursts of recognition sweep across his face, but then he is right back to being a dick to his family. There is an entire portion of the movie where Lutz knocks out a wall in his basement to reveal a ghostly figure, and then the family just stays the night! WHAT? Why doesn't Kathy Lutz just take her kids and leave? She has to stand by her man? I don't get it. 

The movie is a staple in the horror movie community, and I think it holds this spot because of the "true story" angle. The movie could have done so much more and it could have been the creepiest movie ever, unfortunately the movie is sticks to the book and it doesn't even attempt to venture outside of that realm.

The acting in the movie is pretty decent. Margot Kidder and James Brolin are really good in their roles as newlyweds; the movie also stars Rod Steiger and Don Stroud.

Oh, mother of God, I'm coming apart!


  • Both stars of the movie James Brolin and Margot Kidder say they don't believe the Amityville story.  
  • Originally made as a TV movie.
  • James Brolin claims he couldn't get work for two years because his character was so cruel in the movie.