Archive for September, 2011

These days, a lot of horror films are based from true stories. Not to mention, almost half of them are remakes.  “The Amityville Horror” didn’t get away from this cliché.  Directed by Andrew Douglas and produced by the well-known Michael Bay, this film made it big when it hit the cinemas on 2005.  It was excellently played by leading cast Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George.

“The Amityville Horror” is based from the 1979 film and a book by Jay Anson in 1977 tells the story of a haunted house.  The first family who resides is the DeFeo family.  The eldest son Ronnie murdered his whole family in their sleep on the 28th night.  He claimed that a voice told him to kill them because they are demons.  George Lutz (Reynolds) and Melissa Lutz (George) decided to move in despite of the dreadful history of the house.   Over the next few weeks George starts acting differently.  Eventually, strange occurrences start to come about that seems to transform George from a persistent man to an aggressive stranger with mysterious motive.  Melissa, who encounters daunting visions and hears whispers from a cold spooky voice, is determined to seek for the truth and discovered evil behind her house working to triumphantly win over them.

I won’t be comparing this film to its predecessor because (1) it would be prejudice; a movie deserves its own merits and (2) I haven’t seen the first movie.  I don’t expect everything in this film to remain faithful to the true story.   But as it turns out, every spine-chilling moment are true to the story, adding total horrific package all over.  The film was laid in a smooth and perfect pace.  Enough for an average first-time enthusiast of “The Amityville Horror” story to catch up and get terrified.

Thumbs up for Reynolds playing the part of a delirious stepfather.  His possessed dreamy eyes unbelievably convince the character he plays.  At the beginning of the film, he showed the real emotion of an awkward man trying to win his step kids.  He slowly comes apart from being a likeable stepdad to a raging fiend.  Brilliant acting indeed.  Very natural and pretty plausible.  It’s as if I’m seeing Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” (also a commendable horror movie with great Nicholson performance).  He renders it with passion and intensity.  He definitely proves that he’s not just a pretty face with perfectly buffed abs but a flexible artist as well.

The film is packed with excellent cinematography, thrilled sound and music, scary graphics and credible special effects.  The quick out-of-the-blue appearances with Reynolds’ perfect timing to startle the audience, the black silhouette quickly rushing passed mirrors and evil hands emerging from the floor, tubs and ceiling add thrill and agitation.  The nostalgic Old Dutch Colonial house that seemed alive is eerie and gives me the chills just by staring at it.  Prehistoric and huge houses are really creepy.

I absolutely enjoyed this very scary thriller.  I’m a sucker for “based-from-true-stories” horror films and was easily sold to it.  This actually is a natural publicity.  A lot of people will be interested if the story in the film really happened.  But I didn’t regret watching “The Amityville Horror”.  There are few Hollywood horror movies that actually scare me and this is one of the few.  It keeps me watching out for startling scenes while seemingly holding my brother’s hands the whole time.  It’s suspenseful up to the very end.  It stuck into my mind how creepy it feels to live in an unfortunate “Dream” house.


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