Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennet, Chloe Mortez and Philip Baker Hall

Andrew Douglas

Running Time:
82 mins

Out to buy on DVD 24/10/05

"Get Out!"

George (Reynolds) and Kathy (George) Lutz think they have found their dream home but 412 Ocean Avenue in the picturesque Long Island town of Amityville has a dark and bloody history. One year earlier on November 14th, 1974 Ronald Defeo, the eldest son, killed his entire family as they sleep in their beds and he told the police that voices told him to do it. The Lutz family choose to take a chance with the house but as soon as they move in strange things start to happen.

Hollywood continues with its fascination of remaking already successful or cult movies but can 'The Amityville Horror' improve on the 1979 original?

Based on the book by John Anson and the experiences of Lutz family, this version of the tale has received the full Hollywood treatment. With a much bigger budget, the terrifying, alleged true story of what happened at 412 Ocean Avenue in 1974 can now be vividly brought to life. With all the special effects wizardry and digital technology, we can now see the horror witnessed by the Lutz family during their traumatic twenty-eight day stay in that house but is this better than the original cult horror movie? Yes it is.

While the original 1979 movie was well acted by James Brolin and Margot Kidder, this version of the movie opens the story up a lot more. Instead of concentrating on mainly George and Kathy, we now see the horror from the three kids' perspective as well. Jesse James, Jimmy Bennet and Chloe Mortez have a lot more to do as Billy, Michael and Chelsea than the performers in the original ever did. Now we see more of Chelsea talking with Jody, the boys discovering what happened in the house and how George's deterioration effected the children. The performances of these three young actors really bring the horror to bear, making the scares all the more frightening.

Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George also rise to the occasion as George and Kathy Lutz. Usually a more comedic actor, Ryan Reynolds gets to show more of his talents as the tormented George Lutz. Here we see the character slowly transform from a fun loving family man to a tortured maniac. Many sceptics might have thought this would be a struggle for an actor of Reynolds calibre but he proves that he could be a young actor worth taking notice of. Melissa George gets the chance to showcase what she can do as Kathy Lutz. As she witnesses her dream and family fall apart before her very eyes, Melissa George gets the chance to show the talents that made her so impressive in the third season of the hit TV show Alias.

If you know anything about what happened at 412 Ocean Avenue you will realise that this is a slightly more Hollywood version of 'The Amityville Horror'. The writers have fleshed out the background history of the site where the house is built a lot more but you can't help but think they have taken a lot of artistic licence by adding a bit more gore and a villain. The special effects are very good allowing the filmmakers to really go to town on the horror elements. This isn't all about gore however, as most of the best scares are very quick via quick, flash cuts, optimizing the frights and making you jump out of your seat.

The 2005 version of 'The Amityville Horror' is one of those rare entities, a remake that is better than the original. With a much larger budget, the alleged true story can now be told to its true horrific capacity. Genuinely creepy and providing some excellent scary moments, this is a popcorn horror movie that will have you hiding eyes with fear. Just don't watch it alone.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the movie is presented very well.


Audio Commentary with Ryan Reynolds and producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller
The star of the movie Ryan Reynolds injects some fun into this horror commentary. The trio talk about the research behind the movie, to do with the Defoe and Lutz families. They also discuss the role of Michael Bay with the movie, the input of the director and how the film was shot in chronological order. They also talk extensively about the history of the land in Amityville and their feeling on the case. This is an informative and fun commentary that offers a good insight into remaking a horror classic.

Deleted Scenes (7.47 mins)
Entitled 'Family toast', 'Kathy buys groceries', 'Kathy gives Chelsea a bath', 'Charlie and his girlfriend visit George', 'Chelsea and Michael argue', 'Kathy and George arrive to lightening flashing', 'Kathy and George argue' and 'Original etch-a-sketch from Dailies', these deleted or extended scenes have optional commentary by star Ryan Reynolds.

Supernatural Homicide (17.53 mins)
Former Amityville Police Chief Ken Greguski, Chief Medical Examiner for Suffolk County Howard Abelman and Interpreter for the Dead Lorraine Warren talk about the Defeo family massacre and what they think happened at 112 Ocean Drive on November 13th 1974. The trio discuss the case, what they think were Ronald Defeo Jr. motivations and the strangeness of the murders.

The Source of Evil (26.28 mins)
Director Andrew Douglas, producers Andrew Form, Michael Bay and Brad Fuller, screenwriter Scott Kosor, action coordinator Kenny Bates, production designer Jennifer Williams and stars Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloe Grace Moretz, Isabel Conner and Rachel Nichols take you behind the scenes of the reimagining of 'The Amityville Horror'. The cast talk about how they prepared for their roles, with the crew talk about the research into the Defeo and Lutz cases. We also go behind the scenes of the roof top stunt and see how Chloe Grace Moretz did her own stunts.

On Set Peeks
As you watch the movie, nine on set peeks are intercut into the movie, showing how the scene was made.

Photo Gallery
Crime scene, house interiors and ghost and torture room design illustrations from the movie.

Watch the trailer for 'Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo'


MGM have put together an excellent set of extra features of the release of the 2005 version of 'The Amityville Horror'. With a good commentary and featurette that cover the history behind the story as well as the making of the film, this is a high quality DVD package, especially when this is a single disc package.


The Amityville Horror (1979)

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