Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Amityville Horror (1979) DVD Review
The Amityville Horror
Reviewed by: Paz NewisRead Paz Newis's film review of The Amityville Horror
With so many DVD re-issues where much is promised and little delivered, it is heartening to find that this is not the case with The Amityville Horror.
Dr Hanz Holzer provides the audio commentary. He is a parapsychologist, who has conducted investigations at the actual house in Amityville. The one in the film is a look-a-like from New Jersey. "This is Hollywood," the doc observes. He is full of useful titbits, such as" "There was never a nun in the house". And more.
Disc 2 has a choice of three documentaries. For God's Sake, Get Out is mainly interviews with James Brolin and Margot Kidder, full of anecdotal stories from the set. It is interesting that they adopt widely different approaches to their craft, with Kidder more in favour of improvisation and Brolin taking a traditional path, preferring to prepare in advance. During his research, he met the real George Lutz, the man he was to play in the film.
The other documentary featurettes were made for the History Channel and they take diverging approaches. The first is a look at the actual story, the DeFeo murders. Also, the Lutzes give their first interview for 20 years and we see pictures of the real house, then and today. The one in the film is pretty similar - spooky.
History's Mysteries: Amityville Horror, Or Hoax? asks the difficult question, did the Lutz family invent the whole thing on the back of the tragic murders? The genuine horror is that people have fought over this in the courts, as large sums of money are involved. A Native American chief is hauled along at one point. I watched captivated until the end.
Then comes the cherry on the empire biscuit, a "sneak peek" at the remake, starring Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George and Jimmy Bennett. It is claimed that this is based more on the book than the original film. It can't be worse than The Haunting.Reviewed on: 12 Apr 2005