The thriller has given a second wind to the myth of the haunted house in suburban
New York. The Amityville Horror is a remake of a previous release which came out in 1979 with James Brolin, Margot Kidder, and Rod Steiger. In this version, the story still revolves around the Lutz family who moved into the house and endured a 28 day nightmare. The movie quickly gets to business and presents a series of weird, scary events in a rapid fire sequence of images as is now the trend in other thrillers. The viewer is rapidly immersed in the ominous mood that sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
The plot seems to lack in content due to the shortness of The Amityville Horror (89 min.) It seems that many of the facts that would be important, or at least interesting, are barely presented. For example, the scene with the priest about to perform an exorcism is there almost as a formality. He enters the house and escapes in a terrified panic. This is also the case in the denouement, when the history of the house is presented rapidly, almost casually, as the answer to all of the problems in the house. The reason to this might reside in the fact that people still disagree as to the veracity of how haunted the house really is. Nevertheless, for viewers who enjoy scary movies, the plot leaves them wanting more.
In general, the movie delivers what it promises. The Amityville Horror contains quick frightening scenes that keep the viewer on the edge, realism in its imagery, and a good performance by actors Ryan Reynolds, Blade, and Melissa George of Alias fame. This movie is as good as any other in the genre that came out recently (Boogie Man, The Ring II, The Grudge, etc…) and deserves a look.