The Amityville Horror

By
I'm Certainly Horrified


Take one haunted house, one creepy child and a spooky murder scene and what have you got? Possibly the most generic horror movie ever made. The catch? 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 would not 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 – it is huge, Victorian, complete with an eerie surrounding forest, a self-unlocking boat house and a cheery little history of inner-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 named Jodie 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 begins to grow more and more hostile towards Kathy and her children. Is his change in mood just a reaction to all the money he lost buying 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 directed towards young adults, it played host to the mandatory, gratuitous sex scene, and on at least five occasions Ryan Reynolds mysteriously lost his shirt. Not to mention the convenient rain storm in the last scene to make Melissa George's thin dress cling to her slim, shapely physique.

When they were not trying to distract the viewers with sex appeal the film bombarded us with gory, blood-filled special effects. Admittedly, the blood dripping down the light bulbs and the gruesome, rotting faces and limbs were very well done, but rather useless without a substantial plot line to support it.

The most painful part of this film, however, was the excruciating stereo typicality of it all. Nowadays, it is almost like there is a funny little man with a clip board and a check list wandering through the set of every horror movie. Haunted house? Check. Troubled family? Check. Creepy child? Check. Blatant cult symbols? Check. Excessive amounts of 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 about this movie was not the overly gruesome special effects, or the
satanic voices in the air vents, or the family's utter helplessness and vulnerability to the house's dark
whims. No, the truly terrifying thing about this film is that I wasted a full ninety minutes of my life
watching it.





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