The Amityville Horror MAG

By Jessica St. Amand, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Take one haunted house, one creepy child, and a spooky murder scene, and what do you have? Possibly the most generic horror movie ever made. This 2005 remake of the classic “The Amityville Horror” did not even take a stab at creativity. Instead, they took a ridiculously generic plot line and waved gore and sex in front of our noses in hopes that we wouldn’t notice the lack of substance and agonizing predictability of this film.

The movie begins with the oh-so-common house shopping scene in which the happy family finds the house of their dreams for an almost-affordable price. The home is perfect – a huge Victorian, complete with an eerie forest, a self-unlocking boat house, and a cheery history of inter-family massacre.

Over the next few weeks, George (Ryan Reynolds), his wife Kathy (Melissa George), and her three children from a previous marriage, Billy, Chelsea, and Michael, begin to hear and see strange and horrible things. Chelsea develops an imaginary friend, who convinces her to play dangerous games (like climbing onto the roof). Kathy starts seeing cryptic messages in the fridge magnets. Worst of all, George is growing more and more hostile toward Kathy and her children. Is this change just a reaction to all the money he spent on this house, or is it something much more … stereotypical?

The film could have skidded by as a run-of-the-mill high-budget horror film if not for the petty whining for the viewers’ attention. Being, of course, a movie aimed at young adults, it plays host to the mandatory gratuitous sex scene, and on at least five occasions Ryan Reynolds mysteriously loses his shirt. Not to mention the convenient rainstorm that drenches Melissa George’s thin dress.

When it is not trying to distract the viewers with sex appeal, the film bombards us with gory special effects. Admittedly, the blood dripping from the light bulbs and the gruesome, rotting faces and limbs are well done, but rather useless without the support of a substantial plot.

The most painful part of this film, however, is the excruciating stereotypicality of it all. Nowadays, it is almost like there is a funny little man with a clipboard and a checklist wandering through the set of every horror movie. Haunted house? Check. Troubled family? Check. Creepy child? Check. Blatant cult symbols? Check. Excessive fake blood? Check. Man with a six-pack in the rain? Check. Original plot line? Hey, six out of seven is close enough.

In short, the scariest thing here is not the overdone special effects, or the satanic voices in air vents, or the family’s helplessness and vulnerability to the house’s dark whims. No, the truly terrifying thing about this film is that I wasted 90 minutes of my life watching it.

This movie is rated R.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Nov. 3 2011 at 9:34 pm
writingchick GOLD, Huntington, Indiana
11 articles 0 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Faith is taking another step without seeing the entire staircase."

HAha! I love the way you write this! I never thought of it that way, but your article but up very good points! Good job!

on Jan. 10 2010 at 3:34 pm
oliviarose SILVER, Wellington, Florida
7 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Live as if you'll die tomorrow, learn as if you'll live forever." -Ghandi

I LOVE this article. Super funny and so true!

china1buffet said...
on Feb. 24 2009 at 4:03 pm
omfg. so true.





on Nov. 12 2008 at 2:10 pm
Truly amazing....has turned me into a little bookworm!


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