Top critical review
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An ok remake to an ok horror classic.
on March 29, 2009
I'm going to use the first few lines from my review of the original. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo brutally massacred his entire family via shotgun blasts while they were sleeping in their beds. One year later, the Lutz family moves into the same house. With 3 kids, it was too sweet a deal to pass up and was exactly what George and Kathy were looking for. And then just after a few days of moving in, strange things begin to occur. Most notably with George and also with their only daughter Amy. While George is beginning to go insane, Amy has made a new ghostly friend.
I think the remake did an ok job in the story, but way overboard with the typical scares. While the original had a sort of drawn out story, it had the subtle scares. The remake though has a bit of better story at first, but uses the typical Hollywood scares that most of us are used to by now. The best thing I liked about the movie was them showing George Lutz (Ryan Reynolds) going crazy. It was more in depth and Ryan played the part really well. It was actually funny in a dark way listening to Ryan talk crap to the family sometimes, because to him it seemed like he was ok, while they were the ones being idiots or badly behaving. I really think Ryan gets a lot less credit than he deserves as an actor. Sure he gets put into comedy roles such as Van Wilder and Waiting, but I think he can act. When he told one of the boys to hold the wood while he chopped and then grabbed his face and got all evil looking, I looked at my buddy and said "Dude, that would be really scary to see as a 12 year old if not now". I also like how the story leaves out a lot of the priest parts that I didn't like from the original. I also thought the children's scenes were a lot better than the original and made me feel for them a bit more.
What I didn't like though was the typical jump scares that felt unnecessary, but somehow I understand why they are there. If they weren't there, I could see people getting bored with the movie. Not everyone, but a lot. There were a few good ones though like when we see Jody sitting with Amy during one scene and the mom doesn't see her. But man they used way too much of her to try and scare us. Sure, little dead kids are scary, but come on. I liked how it was left to our imagination (sort of) in the original if she was there or not. The remake gives us no doubt. At least they didn't use some bad effects as her eyes outside a window this time...heh. And the ending was horrible... the way they wrapped it up was just bad. I almost thought I was watching 13 Ghosts in the end while George Lutz was walking past cages. Then he sees the main killer ghost... ridiculous.
In the end, I'd give it a rent. I liked it just enough to buy it, mainly because of the character development of George Lutz and also some of the scenes. It can be a good movie for some though, and probably a fun date movie if you like horror.
P.S. - They ruined the `Get Out' scene (my favorite scene) in this one in my opinion. It was so fake compared to the original.