Yet another pointless remake comes to the silver screen, this time as a revisioning of "The Amityville Horror." Unfortunately, this "revisioning" is nothing more than a slight alteration on the original, the only difference being that it lacks any intelligence or depth. Replacing subtle creepiness with cheesy ghosts hiding in the corner of rooms, this is one you can avoid very easily.
Starring Ryan Reynolds and the hot blonde chick who turned out to be a double-crossing assassin on "Alias," this version is of course about a haunted house and the family who moves in shortly after a grisly round of murders that were apparently caused by demonic forces. The new family starts to see and hear things, but it is the father who is most affected. Will history repeat itself?
The problem is, if you've seen the original then you know the answer, and if you haven't seen it, you should really rent the original as it is far superior in every single way. This new version lacks substance and scariness as it goes the route that most horror movies are going, showing dead people at every turn while the characters often don't notice. Dead people are all fine and good, but just showing ghosts standing in the corner really doesn't lend itself to good horror; I would much prefer to see less and be scared more.
You can tell just how dumbed down this version is just by looking at the running times. While essentially a scene-by-scene remake of the original, this version has huge sections that have been cut out or slimmed down to get the running time to a quick 90 minutes. Why do the studios think we'd rather watch a crappy 90-minute horror movie rather than a good 2-hour horror movie?
Admittedly, Reynolds is pretty decent; he sure has come a long way since "Van Wilder." The hot blonde chick whose name escapes me is also not so bad. Still, there is nothing remarkable or captivating about the performances, screenplay, plot or direction to make this movie worth it.
"The Amityville Horror" is a good movie - I'm just not talking about this version.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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