The Amityville Horror is a story I grew up hearing, since I lived in New York City, not far from Amityville. Friends of the family lived right around the corner from the house where the actual murders occurred. I even have a picture of myself standing in front of the house with those foreboding windows. Naturally, when I heard a second movie was being made I had to go see it.
The movie starts out with the original events that actually did occur. The “based on a true story” tagline comes about from the events that unfold within the first ten minutes of the film. Dark and scary, the film starts off with a bang. Several of them, actually.
The film moves on to follow the story of the Lutz family. Ryan Reynolds was surprisingly believable as George Lutz, a husband and step-dad (hard to imagine, considering his stint on “Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place”). The movie follows the Lutz family as they move into the former home of the Defeos, the family killed by the oldest son. Beyond simply being creeped out by the house, the family members start to experience strange things.
George seems to be affected most of all. He’s moody and detached, snapping at the children and losing sleep. The movie spirals quickly into the realm of the supernatural. I would have liked a more gradual descent into madness, but the movie was entertaining nonetheless. The special effects were excellent, to say the least. Ryan Reynolds’ acting was above and beyond anything I expected of him after seeing Van Wilder. Melissa George as the wife was okay. She wasn’t spectacular, but she wasn’t awful. The kids were about as good as child actors get. They weren’t Drew Barrymore caliber, but they weren’t horrible either.
I guess overall the movie was just like the actors, not excellent, but not awful either. I don’t think it was worth the ten bucks for the theater ticket, but it’s worth adding to your Netflix list or borrowing from a friend.
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