If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Having just seen both the Original and the remake of The Amityville Horror, I can safely say that the Original is a far superior film. But why?
The Amityville Horror was released in 1979. The film takes place in the year 1975 and the story is set around George and Kathy Lutz who move into their new home. Their new home however was home to a brutal murder in which a family of six was killed whilst asleep and over time, the house becomes dangerous as blood drips from the walls and dark satanic forces haunt the very walls, George Lutz slowly descends into madness as the house starts to push evil into his heart.
What the Original does so well is build up a genuine sense of terror, as a force that cannot be seen enters and takes over the family home. Unlike most other horror films The Amityville Horror doesn’t rely on jumps scares that much if not at all, the film builds up the dread through George Lutz who at any given moment can snap. It does make for a truly horrifying experience. That isn’t to say that the film doesn’t indulge in jump scares, it does. But the jump scares are not your typical monster comes crashing through the walls scare, as for example Kathy Lutz turns round to see her daughter standing behind her, it makes us jump, but we get over it as it wasn’t anything threatening. I do really, really think it is a terrifying film to sit and watch.
The acting is great, and James Brolin really makes us believe in the character and his slow climb towards madness which starts out as him feeling cold, and eventually turns into George Lutz running round the house with an axe, it is really scary to watch what he does, especially when chopping wood in the garden. The rest of the cast deliver really solid performances as well, and as a result it makes us believe the story more. It makes us think “this is a real family and this situation is real”.
If I had to complain about one thing it would be that it is 2 hours long, that’s not to say I didn’t mind that. I was scared through it, but I would imagine that other people may get bored of it.
Overall this is a chilling horror picture that shows us, you don’t need to see anything to be scared. Something that is done in Paranormal activity as well.
So the remake. Is it good? is it bad? Well to tell you the truth, I actually liked it. I think it does convey a level of dread that matches the original and for the most part it is scary.
The remake relies more heavily on jump scares that sometimes pay off. Other times they don’t. I think it isn’t as good as the original, but on it’s own it’s a decent horror flick. what I liked most is Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz, he comes across just as menacing as James Brolin in the original and if not becomes more scary. My favorite scene which is much better done than the original is when Geroge Lutz chops wood, he proceeds to put a boys hands on the side of the wood whilst he chops it, and then proceeds to question why the child is crying, stating “we’re Friends. We’re having fun”. This is a really terrifying moment and Reynolds delivers a good performance.
That isn’t to say I didn’t have my problems. It relies on jump scares to much, and relies less on atmosphere, although it is present in the film just not as strong as the original. The film shaves 30 minutes out of the original, 30 good minutes I might add. But it seems the right length for someone who hasn’t watched the original. Some of the dialogue is clunky. At times the acting is weak. And Ryan Reynolds with a beard doesn’t work, you have to get used to that.
You could probably make a drinking game out of the remake by drinking every time someone says the word “house” in the film, although that may not be the best idea as you will most likely end up dead from alcohol poisoning, much like this review with the word “original”.
So in short, the remake is a decent stand alone horror flick but doesn’t have the same level of atmosphere present in the original (time to drink). I liked the remake but, the original was a far superior horror film. You may have to drink again, but don’t worry. I won’t say the word Original anytime soon… DAMN IT!