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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.92%
Worth A Look: 9.93%
Just Average: 29.8%
Pretty Crappy: 16.56%

12 reviews, 79 user ratings

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Amityville Horror, The (2005)
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by EricDSnider

"Was it boring and stupid when it happened to the real family, too?"
3 stars

The remake of "The Amityville Horror" arrives just in time to appear wholly unoriginal and a product of its era. Just as the hokey 1979 original felt precisely like a horror film from 1979, the new version is as 2005 as they come: lots of "jump" scares accompanied by loud bursts of soundtrack music, creepy dead girls wandering the halls, and almost no actual suspense or horror.

Like its predecessor, it is based on Jay Anson's book, which purports to be the true story of the Lutz family who moved into a Dutch colonial home on Long Island in 1975 and moved out in terror 28 days later. (Ironically, "28 Days Later" is the only recent horror film that this one does NOT borrow from.)

The Lutzes are headed by George (Ryan Reynolds), a prematurely bearded man who works in construction and has just married Kathy (Melissa George), a horse-toothed young widow who is bringing up three very horse-toothed children. The kids have varying attitudes toward New Dad, teenage Michael (Jimmy Bennett) hating him, young Billy (Jesse James) loving him, and younger Chelsea Chloe Moretz) hardly even noticing him, as she is busy playing with her new friend Jodie, the dead girl whose ghost resides in the house.

The house has a past, you see. A year ago, in 1974, a man heard voices telling him to kill his family and, like an idiot, he obeyed those voices. (You know what, crazy people? Just because you hear voices doesn't mean you have to do what they say.) The real estate agent showing the house to the Lutzes refers to it as having "a vibrant history," one of the few signs of wit in Scott Kosar's otherwise lackadaisical screenplay.

Whatever evil caused the first guy to go nuts is still there, however -- it was not sold at the yard sale, I guess -- and no amount of worrying or half-hearted exorcising by local priest Father Callaway (Philip Baker Hall, slumming) can evict it. The evil then begins to affect George, who turns grumpy and is subject to many odd visions and eventually to madness. The manifestations of the house's inherent evil are the same as in all movies in which a creepy house plays a part. There are dark whisperings, strange creakings and groanings, and much unexplained flickering of the lights. (Evil loves messing with the electricity.)

Still, what all these movies fail to understand, and what first-time feature director Andrew Douglas does not grasp either, is that such random occurrences are not, of themselves, scary. "Weird" is not the same thing as "frightening," my friends. We have to be afraid OF something -- of an actual thing (like a monster or a ghost), or of an event (that the plane will crash, that the ship will sink, that our stepfather will lose his mind and come after us).

"The Amityville Horror" gives us very little to actually be afraid of. When George finally does fulfill his destiny as yet another movie character who is made homicidal by unseen forces, all the film does is move into standard run-and-scream territory. You know the drill: George's potential victims choose escape routes that lead them into greater danger, and a few key players suddenly develop action-hero skills when the situation calls for it. The film is not psychological at all; it is visceral, all graphics and visuals with very little brain.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11925&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/14/05 19:51:45
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

2/20/17 morris campbell it sux read the book instead 1 stars
9/03/15 David Hollingsworth The only thing that is watchable is Ryan Reynolds' abs. 1 stars
12/10/12 Jamie 'Art' fuck you, you cunt. This sucks. 1 stars
9/06/10 art this 2005 one ROCK"S!,and it take's one {A MORON} to know ONE! 4 stars
6/20/10 Sarah Webster Hey art, the original is a classic. This remake is shit.u make yourself look like a moron! 1 stars
3/13/10 art TO TELL YOU the TRUTH,i never saw the first one,i read the NOVEL,this one is the BEST! 4 stars
7/30/09 art MUCH BETTER THAN THE 1979 ORIGINAL! 4 stars
9/11/07 TreeTiger Not that bad, actually... 4 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK The only thing scary about this film is that another might be on the way. 2 stars
11/18/06 khrystal very scary! i kept seeing that little girl hanging at the foot of my bed for weeks!!! 5 stars
11/13/06 Mark pass 2 stars
11/04/06 mp good visual effects , good acting, and steady supsense, that is all folks. 3 stars
9/22/06 David Pollastrini the house looks nothing like the real house 3 stars
8/22/06 Mr.X this movie blew big donkey dick!!!! 1 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist An abomination to the original, just another over the top crappy, horror popcorn flick. 1 stars
6/15/06 Michele good remake clever additions 4 stars
3/18/06 CJ Intensity throughout it all 5 stars
3/15/06 Anthony Feor A pitiful remake 1 stars
2/16/06 Alice Nope 1 stars
2/02/06 tatum Starts well, gets progressively sillier as it goes 2 stars
12/17/05 JeromeBosch Beefcake and babe canít save this diluted bouillon of a remake. 2 stars
12/14/05 me could have been better 3 stars
12/01/05 George just as bad as the original 1 stars
12/01/05 MrsVoorheesBabyBoy Better Than the Original 4 stars
11/24/05 cr a pump up remake and scary of course, but nothing to be jumping about 3 stars
11/24/05 cr a pump up remake and scary of course, but nothing to be jumping about 3 stars
11/22/05 Melissa Ryan Reynolds looked hot (and crazy) -- not bad but not scary enough either. 4 stars
11/21/05 Kurtis J. Beard Wow - beyond horrible. All time low for horror. 1 stars
11/19/05 Bestit People who are scared of this are scared of their own farts, as well. 1 stars
11/13/05 Indrid Cold Of course it looks great, but ultimately just a compilation of cliches. 2 stars
11/02/05 nikita m i thought it was a good movie it freaked the shit out of me and the guy is so hot its crta 5 stars
10/29/05 Horror buff I think it was actually a good remake, though not as scary as the orginal. 4 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) a fair movie not very scary though 3 stars
10/20/05 PAG Mediocre. Better than original, but that is not saying much. 3 stars
10/16/05 tony scary and sometimes boring. Parts were slow,and dull. 2 stars
10/14/05 Adam The original was at least passable than this second rate crapfest 1 stars
10/11/05 ad ok 3 stars
10/09/05 ashley i liked it but i want to know more 4 stars
10/08/05 Monday Morning Points off for the dog getting killed, but OK otherwise. 4 stars
10/07/05 othree Great casting, suck storyline, suck version, suck efx 1 stars
10/05/05 j.b 2.5 1 stars
9/26/05 Amber I love this movie it wa the only movie that I've ever been to where people screamed 5 stars
9/08/05 John Surprise: A remake that's better than the original 4 stars
9/02/05 Jenny This is a scary movie Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George are great together 5 stars
8/07/05 Junior The most shocking thing about this motion picture is that it's all true! 5 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Original was boring, predictable mess and this remake is only slightly better. 2 stars
7/07/05 YEAH U SEE ME?ITS ME!! hey its me again..ITS FUCKING FUNNY 5 stars
7/07/05 YEAH U SEE ME?ITS ME!! cool movie.very funny 5 stars
7/07/05 Jmz H scary movies ending always scary..sigh.. 5 stars
5/21/05 Charlene Javier I finally liked a Ryan Reynolds movie! 3 stars
5/19/05 wendy rogers The movie is ok...Not real scary but worth seeing. 4 stars
5/16/05 Shawn Borucki Forgettable movie. Somes scenes feel like they were mimicing Kingdom Hospital and Ju-On. 3 stars
5/09/05 Carol ok 3 stars
5/01/05 Valerie great movie, great plot, but the ending is really stupid. 4 stars
4/29/05 Mider when its a good movie and its a remake then that makes it a GREAT remake 5 stars
4/26/05 Aaron Pilkington Scary as hell!!! 5 stars
4/26/05 John very effective and at times really scary- well done 4 stars
4/25/05 Sheree Burns I thought this was the best "remake" film yet.... 5 stars
4/25/05 E-FUNK Collapses immediately and induces laughter when you should be shitting your pants. 2 stars
4/24/05 movie man It was a excelent movie 5 stars
4/20/05 Naka Gore an' shit. Whoo. Now, if only it was, you know, entertaining or at all scary... 1 stars
4/20/05 Krisan Graves Decent movie 3 stars
4/19/05 J MAN scary 5 stars
4/18/05 Maril Smith Excellent Instant Classic! The first film to really scare me and my friends since The Ring! 5 stars
4/18/05 Me A great film 5 stars
4/18/05 Mix Master Mason Should have gone direct to video. Has that annoying Marilyn Manson video look. Blah!!!!!!!! 2 stars
4/18/05 Michael Lee I thought it was, what it was... a good scary movie. 4 stars
4/18/05 Al Guy Lame. The Shining done poorly. 2 stars
4/18/05 Tom Rudderham A lazy and thoughtless remake. 1 stars
4/18/05 Renita Long not as good as the original 2 stars
4/18/05 Gray could have been better 3 stars
4/17/05 Ahnold Not as good as original, but not as bad as everyone writes 3 stars
4/17/05 Christy Weller It's an ok movie, Not one I would Highly reccomend 3 stars
4/16/05 Sharon Davis No worse than the other horror movies out there 2 stars
4/16/05 J MAN Nice surprise, good thrills. Scary how it's a true story.... 5 stars
4/16/05 rory i couldn't sleep after this one. Scarier then the original.... 5 stars
4/16/05 Junior LaROche Liked the original, don't like the current string of Holylwood remakes!!!! 2 stars
4/15/05 Naka Horror shit. 1 stars
4/15/05 shatonjia I hated it 1 stars
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  15-Apr-2005 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



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