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Overall Rating
2.57

Awesome: 12%
Worth A Look: 10.67%
Average: 30%
Pretty Bad: 16.67%
Total Crap30.67%

12 reviews, 78 user ratings


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Amityville Horror, The (2005)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"These assholes can't even do a good remake of a bad movie."
1 stars

According to George Lutz, who along with his (now-deceased) wife Kathy and his three stepchildren spent 28 days in a Long Island house before fleeing into the night, you shouldn't trust anyone's account of that month except his own.

Jay Anson's book The Amityville Horror and the 1979 movie it inspired, Lutz said, were filled with exaggerations and outright lies; and the 2005 remake, he charged when it came out, is no more "based on a true story" than the original film. Other people, over the years, have called Lutz's entire story a hoax, maintaining that there was no haunting. Who to believe? Certainly not the 2005 version, which I found flatly unbelievable even by horror-film standards.

It's nice that Hollywood has taken my advice and remade a bad movie (the 1979 version hasn't aged well) instead of tarnishing the memory of good movies. But producer Michael Bay and screenwriter Scott Kosar, who previously took a giant dump on the horror classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre by giving it an uncalled-for do-over, don't even improve on the clumsy first film. The remake does get one thing right: Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz has more humor and humanity than big, bearded James Brolin did. But George's transformation from healthy stepdad to axe-fondling psycho happens too abruptly -- 89 minutes don't leave much time for a plausible, gradual personality change. And because this movie takes George much further than either the book or the previous film did -- to the point of active murderous intent -- we wonder why Kathy (Melissa George) doesn't run out on him long before the tipping point.

The Lutzes move into the huge Long Island house despite the murders that happened there the previous year, because a house this good and this cheap doesn't come along every day. We only get an intermittent sense, though, that their chief reason for sticking with the house is financial and not, say, stupid. Stephen King, writing about the 1979 film in Danse Macabre, posited the real secret of the movie's success: it was about money troubles. Toilets overflowing with muck, doors and windows that stick -- these are common householder frustrations. King also singled out the scene where James Brolin searches in vain for the money his brother-in-law set aside for his wedding caterer but then lost (the house apparently ate it). Brolin and Margot Kidder were an older, mid-thirtyish couple; Reynolds and George come off like twentysomethings who could rebound easily from financial setbacks.

Instead, the movie adds layers onto the derangement of the family. As in the original, Kathy's young daughter makes a new friend in Jodie, a spirit haunting the house. In 1979, Jodie was a pig-like demon-thing. Now, Jodie is like Samara from The Ring, and in a scene typical of the movie's emphasis on the ugly over the truly scary, the ghost-girl forces a hapless babysitter to stick a finger inside the bullet hole in her head. A possessed, axe-wielding George meets up with the family dog, with bad results for the dog (a development the real Lutz is reportedly disgusted with). A wall in the cellar leads to a space where a demented reverend used to torture Indians to death. Like the Chainsaw remake, Amityville '05 is less frightening than just unpleasant.

In the end, the legend of the Amityville house boils down to the fracture of the family: in the house's original murders, the teenage Ronald Defeo shotgunned his entire family, and here George chases his stepkids around with an axe like a bargain-basement Jack Torrance in The Shining. The subtext here is that your stepdad resents you, and will kill you and your mom.

It's not for kids, but of course that doesn't stop some people. At the screening I attended, I saw a moronic couple and their four-year-old daughter sitting a few rows down. On the way out, the "mother" complimented the little girl on not screaming during the movie: "Pretty good for a four-year-old." Social conservatives like to crusade against corruptive entertainment, but what good does that do if "parents" blithely take their toddlers to crap like this? Why not just chase your four-year-old around with an axe and save the ticket money?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11925&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/24/06 13:34:41
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

7/30/14 jtblihznrn USA 4 stars
12/11/12 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
6/21/10 Sarah Webster Hey art, the original is a classic. This remake is shit.u make yourself look like a moron! 1 stars
3/14/10 art TO TELL YOU the TRUTH,i never saw the first one,i read the NOVEL,this one is the BEST! 4 stars
7/31/09 art MUCH BETTER THAN THE 1979 ORIGINAL! 4 stars
9/11/07 TreeTiger Not that bad, actually... 4 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK The only thing scary about this film is that another might be on the way. 2 stars
11/19/06 khrystal very scary! i kept seeing that little girl hanging at the foot of my bed for weeks!!! 5 stars
11/14/06 Mark pass 2 stars
11/05/06 mp good visual effects , good acting, and steady supsense, that is all folks. 3 stars
9/23/06 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
6/16/06 Michele good remake clever additions 4 stars
3/19/06 CJ Intensity throughout it all 5 stars
3/16/06 Anthony Feor A pitiful remake 1 stars
2/17/06 Alice Nope 1 stars
2/03/06 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
12/02/05 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
11/23/05 Melissa Ryan Reynolds looked hot (and crazy) -- not bad but not scary enough either. 4 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Wow - beyond horrible. All time low for horror. 1 stars
11/20/05 Bestit People who are scared of this are scared of their own farts, as well. 1 stars
11/14/05 Indrid Cold Of course it looks great, but ultimately just a compilation of cliches. 2 stars
11/03/05 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
10/17/05 tony scary and sometimes boring. Parts were slow,and dull. 2 stars
10/15/05 Adam The original was at least passable than this second rate crapfest 1 stars
10/12/05 ad ok 3 stars
10/10/05 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
10/08/05 othree Great casting, suck storyline, suck version, suck efx 1 stars
10/05/05 j.b 2.5 1 stars
9/27/05 Amber I love this movie it wa the only movie that I've ever been to where people screamed 5 stars
9/09/05 John Surprise: A remake that's better than the original 4 stars
9/03/05 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
5/22/05 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
5/17/05 Shawn Borucki Forgettable movie. Somes scenes feel like they were mimicing Kingdom Hospital and Ju-On. 3 stars
5/10/05 Carol ok 3 stars
5/02/05 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
4/27/05 Aaron Pilkington Scary as hell!!! 5 stars
4/27/05 John very effective and at times really scary- well done 4 stars
4/26/05 Sheree Burns I thought this was the best "remake" film yet.... 5 stars
4/26/05 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
4/21/05 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
4/20/05 J MAN scary 5 stars
4/19/05 Maril Smith Excellent Instant Classic! The first film to really scare me and my friends since The Ring! 5 stars
4/19/05 Me A great film 5 stars
4/19/05 Mix Master Mason Should have gone direct to video. Has that annoying Marilyn Manson video look. Blah!!!!!!!! 2 stars
4/19/05 Michael Lee I thought it was, what it was... a good scary movie. 4 stars
4/19/05 Al Guy Lame. The Shining done poorly. 2 stars
4/19/05 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
4/18/05 Ahnold Not as good as original, but not as bad as everyone writes 3 stars
4/18/05 Christy Weller It's an ok movie, Not one I would Highly reccomend 3 stars
4/17/05 Sharon Davis No worse than the other horror movies out there 2 stars
4/17/05 J MAN Nice surprise, good thrills. Scary how it's a true story.... 5 stars
4/17/05 rory i couldn't sleep after this one. Scarier then the original.... 5 stars
4/17/05 Junior LaROche Liked the original, don't like the current string of Holylwood remakes!!!! 2 stars
4/16/05 Naka Horror shit. 1 stars
4/15/05 shatonjia I hated it 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Apr-2005 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  14-Apr-2005




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