Written by Sandor Stern and based on the novel by Jay Anson
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, and Rod Steiger
“For God’s sake, GET OUT!” was the ad campaign for the 1979 shocker The Amityville Horror. The film was based on the allegedly true story of the luckless Lutz family, who move lock, stock, and barrel into a new home, only to find that it is possessed by the demonic spirits of its previous owners. Variations of the Seven Deadly Plagues emanate from virtually every household fixture, while other forms of otherworldly mischief are suffered by the Lutz children.
Thank goodness for the wildly successful film The Exorcist which seemed to drive demand for movies like The Omen and ultimately, this film. The opening moments of the film depict the murdering of the former residents in a series of illuminating shotgun blasts viewed from outside the creepy house’s windows. Enter The Lutz Family, a newlywed couple with their own semi-Brady Bunch thing going on. Fully aware of the murderous history, they drop the low price of $80K on the home, and the next 28 days of their lives go to shit.
Call me old school, but I love to see a classic priest versus agent of Satan showdown to this day. Concerned for the Lutz, his parishioners, the priest arrives at the home in an attempt to cleanse the evil from the house. He spies the family frolicking in the backyard and decides to get down to it. Suddenly sweating and shaky, a stench overpowers him as buzzing flies overtake the room. The door swings open and a disembodied voice screams “GET OUT!” Seriously? I would have been ass out, challenging or breaking the current land speed record for a man. Rod Steiger tackles the role with zeal and goes so far in his attempted cleansing that he goes blind from the intense evil presence. Steiger sells his skills as a man of faith confronted with unabashed evil.
The best part of the entire film is the work Brolin puts into his role as George Lutz. His upbeat personality begins to darken and deteriorate to the point of possession and near insanity before the 28 days are up. His healthy tone turns a sullen ash, his well-manicured beard become bushy and wild as he buckles under the oppressive evil of the home and its demonic inhabitants. George may get the brunt of the evil residing in the basement, but even the young daughter is tricked by the spirits. The young girl develops an “imaginary” friend named Jody, and the good times roll. Margot Kidder (the young and hot version) reaches her breaking point quickly, eventually researching the home enough to know when the gettin’s good.
Filled with iconic horror movie imagery like the glowing pig eyes, walls that drip blood, and the unforgettable glaring “eyes” of the home – this is a fantastic supernatural thriller that has to be seen. Skip the Ryan Reynolds version, because it straight up sucks, if through no fault of his own. Some movies can’t be effectively remade – ’nuff said. Add this 1970′s classic to your Halloween viewing schedule and enjoy this tense supernatural offering. In closing, pay attention to the score as it’s the music The Exorcist turned down. The music plays a pivotal role in this classic horror flick.
This is a freaking movie trailer, kids!