The Amityville Horror (1979)
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I wasn't a huge fan of this. I thought it had issues with pacing, and it wasn't great at giving payoffs for everything it set up. Very 70s, though, in a good way, and it did have some creepy moments. It would've helped if it picked a single protagonist. Still worth the watch, just don't expect greatness.
Reminds me very much of Lucio Fulci's work. The Amityville Horror stylistically and thematically closer to the European horror and, especially, Italian giallo of the time period, than it is to it's contemporary American horror. Perhaps this is why this film has recieved an unfair bashing in the popular consesus, although it may have more to do with the novel and circumstances surrounding that.
I see a lot of reviews of this film calling it 'campy' but I am not sure that I understand how this film is somehow more campy than Friday the 13th or many of the other horror films of the same time period. It does address subject matter that is more fantastical in it's being but I think it does so well, and uses it to weave a cloistering atmosphere of dread which is even more effective due to it's gothic setting. The house in The Amityville Horror is one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in American film and its pop merchandising.
Perhaps this series has not quite stood the test of time as well as some of the others because we aren't given a clear antagonist in the same way that we were with Jason, Leatherface, or Freddy- sadly this house doesn't quite translate into the world of commercialization as well it ought to have, and although a sizeable franchise was spawned from this film, the film itself has fallen into disdain.
I belive that if one is familiar with European horror that The Amityville Horror is much more enjoyable, as it seems to draw a lot on the tendency for gothic atmosphere and a story that combines horror and thriller, yet is more visual in it's approach.
I intend to watch the rest of the series as well as more of this particular director's work and then revisit this film and see if I have more to contribute.
Very good. Proves a movie can be scary and upseting without using cheap tricks or scare jumps.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #166 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
This movie ranks #254 in All Time Box Office