10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Sexed up version of the bland original,
This review is from: The Amityville Horror (Widescreen Special Edition) (DVD)
In 2002, I happened to see the original Amityville house on Long Island (which was renovated to replace the creepy looking windows). That got me interested in the story and I finally watched the original horror film, which was so bland and lacking in suspense that I don't know why previews of that movie gave me nightmares as a child.
With today's film technology, I looked forward to seeing this new version. Signs were not good when the film's distributors refused to allow film critics to pre-screen the movie for the Friday write-ups. Roger Ebert created his "finger wave" category for the distributor's cowardice in facing the film critics.
While this film is a big improvement on the 1979 film, it still has a lot of cheap shots and comes across as manipulative. What it lacks in horror, they make up for it by spiking the scary music and quick jumps to startle the audience. Although based on a true story (whether it happened or was an elaborate hoax continues to be debated), so many instances strained credibility...such as the daughter walking dangerously on the roof. Yeah, right.
The scene I most like in this film, however, deals with the babysitter, as she adds much humor to the story. Because of her and having actor Ryan Reynolds walk around shirtless, showing off his well-sculpted body, its obvious that the makers of the film settled for a sexed up version for modern audiences to make up for the lack of suspense and true drama/horror. That also strains credibility, but its only a movie...one that's hard to take seriously from the get-go.
The truly horrifying scene takes audiences into the basement to discover the house's secret past that explains the haunting. It is the most graphic part of the film and the scariest. If this film had more of that, instead of trying to be a cheap imitation of "The Sixth Sense" (which is what I thought of everytime that ghost girl popped up unexpectedly for no other reason than to startle the audience), I would give it another star. As is, its an okay film for a few laughs and an improvement upon the original.
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Initial post: May 15, 2011 11:52:23 AM PDT
Nothing tops the original.
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