My Amityville Horror Movie Review
What is the worst thing you've ever experienced? After ten adaptations, sequels and remakes, the house at 112 Ocean Avenue gets another theatrical treatment, this time in the form of a documentary that focuses on Daniel Lutz, the stepson of George Lutz and one of the individuals who experienced firsthand what happened in Amityville. It's My Amityville Horror, and it makes the worst thing you've ever experienced look like a walk in the park.
In 1975, the Lutz family moved into a house that thirteen months prior had been the site of a brutal and mysterious mass murder. They immediately began to experience various paranormal activities ranging from levitations, slamming doors, swarms of flies in the heart of winter and sightings of a demonic pig with glowing red eyes.
You know, typical stuff you have to deal with when moving into a new house.
My Amityville Horror interviews Daniel Lutz, who talks with sincerity about the strange shit he experienced as a kid. He speaks about his hatred of stepfather George Lutz, and more importantly the things he personally witnessed - including cold spots in the house, voices and that demonic pig with glowing red eyes. Yikes.
Blended with archival footage and interviews with others who investigated the incident, My Amityville Horror accomplishes what the 2005 Ryan Reynolds remake failed to do: present a truly frightening tale.
The success of the documentary, directed by Eric Walter, of course relies heavily on whether you believe Daniel Lutz - or at least can buy into what he believes for an hour and a half. Daniel has anger issues and clearly had a rocky relationship with his stepfather, but he also believes very strongly in what happened at 112 Ocean Avenue. It is his conviction - and his fiery onscreen presence - that makes My Amityville Horror work so well. Regardless of what really happened, Daniel believes it did - and that is scary as all hell.
Oh, and so is that photograph of the demon child.
As frightening as it, My Amityville Horror does struggle some in the middle act as Walter shifts the focus away from Daniel Lutz to others, and also presents a counterargument to Lutz's insistence that what he experienced is true. Even though Walter loses his grip for a few minutes, he manages to regain control of the film toward the end.
My Amityville Horror isn't perfect and it relies on the believability of its subject, but the documentary paints a scary picture of an incident that to this date has not been discredited - and at the very least serves as a nightmarish tale that is more effective than its most recent fictional counterpart.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.