The Amityville Horror (2005)
This horror film begins with a true story that happened on Nov. 13, 1974. Police received a call that led them to the Defeo residence in Amityville, Long Island, the scene of a grisly murder in which both parents and four children were shot to death. It was later discovered that Ronald Defeo killed both his parents and siblings, saying voices in the house told him to do it. A year later, George (Ryan Reynolds) and Kathy (Melissa George) Lutz and their three children find the buy of a lifetime when they discover the Amityville residence. A bit skeptical about the home’s low price, they inquire further and learn about the murders. But they decide to go through with the deal, move in and begin almost immediately to notice strange happenings. In less than a month, they’re ready to abandon the house.
I have never seen the original version of this movie so I cannot offer any comparisons between the two. My only prior knowledge of this film was the preview I saw in the theater and on television, so I offer my untainted opinion. I didn’t find it scary, but rather freakishly disturbing. There were some images and scenes that momentarily halted my breathing while forcing me into a zombie-like stare at the screen. An element which helped further its horror was the inclusion of strange behavior from children—an ever popular trend in horror flicks. Also, since I had not viewed the original I couldn’t predict the ending which was different than I had expected.
I do not think someone is going to need this review to determine whether the content is family friendly, since the premise is based on an evil house that kills its inhabitants. As viewers will discover in the film, the spirit of an evil man who lived there long ago actually pushes for the murders. As stated above, there are several disturbing scenes not suitable for families along with much violence. This film kills its chance for a Dove approval, so keep the kids away from this one.