#TBT the 10 years later retrospective series will look back at films release a decade ago. Every Thursday, we will look at the initial impact of the film. But, more importantly we will see if the film deserves some dusting off, or if it deserves to stay in that DVD case you have stored under your bed. So sit back, relax, and take a ride back to the past. This month our 10 years later series will feature the 2005 remake, “The Amityville Horror”.
Synopsis: One year after the murder of the DeFeo family in their Long Island estate, the Lutz family moved in. After only 28 days, the Lutz family fled the house claiming stories of bleeding walls and ghostly apparitions. Based on a true story, the original film was a blockbuster in 1979. The 2005 remake came from Platinum Dunes – the studio behind the hit 2003 remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. Much like our last #TBT, this film came in the height of the remake boom. Opening to $23 million the film went on to gross over $100 million worldwide.
The film was the debut feature for Chloe Grace Moretz. Moretz, playing the youngest member of the Lutz family, gave a strong performance for such a young child. Today, she is a major teen starlet with a promising career. Also headlining the film were Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. The film was a turn for Reynolds, who at the time was best known for his comedic roles in “Waiting” and “Van Wilder”. Today, Reynolds is a Hollywood A-List actor. It is interesting to see him play in a horror film, which he carries quite nicely. George, an Australian beauty, also does a solid job as the matriarchal figure. For a horror film the acting is A+.
Looking back, the film has some outdated CGI. The CGI featured in the film does not take you out of the experience, but it is rather silly at times. The main difference between the original and the remake is the house. The grand estate used as the infamous Amityville house in the 2005 remake was perfect. I think the giant mansion used in the remake makes the story that much more terrifying. The house is ominous and over welling. The giant façade plays a crucial role in one of the later scenes of the film. Because the film is set in the 1970’s, the film does not seem very dated. There is not early millennium fashion or music to date the picture. The score, produced by the talented Steve Jablonsky, is creepy and atmospheric.
Final thoughts on “The Amityville Horror”: With a new Amityville flick due in theaters next year, it might be worth a re-watch, however I would not put it at the top of my list. The opening is pretty creepy, but the rest of the film tends to slightly lack in the scare factor. Give it a re-watch if you have pass by it, but I wouldn’t jump on the occasion.