The Amityville Horror (1979)

Possibly one of the best known film franchises in the world and easily the most recognisable ‘haunted’ house.  The Amityville Horror tells the story of the Lutz family who move into the property around a year after a young man murders his entire family, but of course you probably already knew that.

Recently married, George and Kathy Lutz along with Kathy’s kids from her first marriage buy the house at a knockdown price after Ronnie De Feo executes his family.  George has no issue buying the house as he says “houses don’t have memories” but Kathy is a little weary so she gets the family priest to come and bless the house.  The priest gets the shock of his life when a demonic voice tells him to GET OUT!! and don’t even get me started on those bloody flies.

At the time of it’s release, The Amityville Horror was the most successful independent feature film ever made and was based on a ‘true’ story.  Down through the years, it’s been contested and ridiculed but what is certain is that the murders did actually take place back in 1974.

James Brolin and Margot Kidder are perfect as the Lutz’s and Hollywood veteran Rod Steiger pops up as the family Priest.  Lalo Schifrin’s eerie music is easily one of horror’s best ever scores and the lighting work especially on those scary windows that look like eyes is incredible.

Second Sight’s Blu-ray limited edition steelbook is rammed with extras including a commentary, the original interviews with Kidder and Brolin from the DVD release and a brand new interview with Brolin.  The icing of the cake is the ‘My Amityville Horror’ documentary film from one of the Lutz kids which tells his version of the story.

Some people think the film is a lot of old tosh and pointless especially from it being apparently based around true events.  I, myself have always been a fan since I saw the Guild release on Betamax back when I was a mere lad.  Sure most of the sequels are utter shit (the second is rather good and quite sleazy) but this one is an awesome supernatural thriller and no matter what anyone says, it’s a bit of a classic.

  • Starring James Brolin  Margot Kidder  Rod Steiger  Don Stroud
  • Director Stuart Rosenberg
  • Distributor Second Sight