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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 David Cornelius

"Not great, but it works - just like the original."
3 stars

A secret: I love the original “Amityville Horror.” It’s trash, I know, but it holds a fond place in my heart (the first horror movie I ever got to see), and good memories allow the film’s niftier pieces - the chilling theme music, the freaky closet sequence, the flies bit - to overcome its lesser moments - James Brolin’s “I’m coming apart!!!” being just one of them.

That said, I always felt there was room for improvement with the 1979 film, so I wasn’t as concerned as others when a remake was announced. Here’s one, unlike, say, “House of Wax,” that comfortably felt remakable. And yes, this retelling, starring Ryan Reynolds as James Brolin as George Lutz and Melissa George as Margot Kidder as Kathy Lutz, actually manages to fix many of the broken parts of the original film. That said, it also manages to screw up many of the things that went right the first time, so all in all, I’ll call this one a wash.

If the original was a haunted house movie played out as the new homeowner’s nightmare, this new “Amityville” is a haunted house movie played out as a parable of abusive relationships. Remember how Brolin went all psycho? That’s nothing compared to what Reynolds is asked to do. While the blame-it-all-on-the-evil-spirits line ultimately lets Reynolds’ George character off the hook, it also allows screenwriter Scott Kosar (the “Texas Chainsaw” remake) and director Andrew Douglas (making his feature debut) to play with the warning signs of domestic violence. Pass it off as a ghost yarn, but there’s far more horror in the realities of a new couple that slowly starts to fall apart as one of them lets loose with the nasty behavior.

It’s an interesting twist, and between the clever scripting and an unexpectedly sharp performance by Reynolds (I knew he’d be good, but he puts a lot more into this role than the usual star slumming in a cheap horror flick), it works - thus saving the picture. It’s Reynolds and his descent into madness that we keep watching.

As for the rest, well, it’s hit and miss all over the place. The basics of the haunted house genre, so important to the original film, are replaced here with mandatory reruns of modern horror trends: Creepy Ghost Girl, shaky heads, everything really wanting to look like it came out of a Japanese shocker. The existence of the Creepy Ghost Girl, the fact that we not only see her, but see her over and over and over again, informs us that the filmmakers are not at all interested in the haunted house genre, which is odd, since “Amityville” is the first name in haunted house stories. Here, the filmmakers would rather remix stuff they saw in “Ringu” and “Ju-On” and whatever else in that cycle they saw the week before they started filming.

There’s also plenty of nonsense added in as to the history of the house, which offers nothing other than a chance to once again give us that other important modern horror trend: the heroine who uncovers a deep dark secret. This new Kathy Lutz pokes around like she’s investigating the Ring and stumbles across a deep dark secret that’s so dopey and pointless that it almost derails the entire picture.

Fortunately, the script doesn’t bother with it too long. Here’s a film with an extremely short attention span, so any idiocies dumped on us can easily be overlooked, since we’re so busy plowing ahead to the next good scream. And while “Amityville” offers little new (and, worse, relies too much on a cheap music score to pump up the jump-frights), most of the scares still manage to work just fine. If you’re to judge “Amityville” merely by asking the question, is it scary enough?, then yeah, it works.

I’m still convinced that there’s a great movie to be found in the basic “Amityville” story, but for now, we’ll just have to settle with two good ones. The remake, like the original, is riddled with problems, but, like the original, it’s effective enough to work despite them. Yeah, I could wish that the cleverness put into the Reynolds character could have been granted to the rest of the story as well, but still, for a cheap horror ride, this new “Amityville” will do the trick for now.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11925&reviewer=392
originally posted: 05/09/05 23:40:29
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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 can’t 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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