ann hale looks long island for horror…
Less than ten days left until Halloween. It’s time for me to pull out another one of the big guns. Now, when you think of haunted house films, younger kids might immediately say Paranormal Activity but those of us old enough to remember any part of the 80’s know of a film even scarier. I’m speaking, of course, of The Amityville Horror.
The Lutz family purchase the house on Ocean Avenue for a steal because of the mass murder that happened in the home years before. Soon, they are experiencing strange paranormal activity. When they attempt to bring a priest in to bless the house, he is attacked by an unknown force and disembodied voice. Upon a little research they find that their home has been built on a tribal burial ground and that a Satan worshiper lived on the land.
Amy, the daughter, has an imaginary friend named Jody, who Kathy (Margot Kidder) identifies as a pig head with red glowing eyes, one of the boys gets his hand crushed in a window that closes by itself, the babysitter gets locked in a closet that doesn’t even have a doorknob and the longer they live in the house, the darker and angrier George (James Brolin), the father, becomes.
George begins to get violent towards his family as the paranormal activity continues. Now the rest of the family must not only escape the house but now must also escape George alive.
The Amityville Horror is based on a supposedly true story. Minus the part of George becoming murderous, the real Lutz family claimed to have suffered many of the instances portrayed in the film. If that’s all true, that has to be the scariest house in all existence. Disembodied voices, hidden rooms, pig headed imaginary friends, mysterious music, ooze seeping from the walls…that’s enough to make anyone move, but if you’re into that kind of thing, you could get yourself a famous murder house for a killer price. (Excuse my pun).
I’d like to make a special shout out to Margot Kidder. Not only was her film successful enough to spawn a remake but her famous 1996 nervous breakdown also spawned a remake in Anne Heche’s public breakdown four years later. While Kidder was bipolar, Heche was bisexual so her breakdown really might have been a fake. Then again, perhaps the house is too. We will never know.