Watch The Amityville Horror
- 1 hr 57 min
The Amityville Horror is a classic horror movie from 1979, based on a true story that became a cultural phenomenon in the United States in the 1970s. The movie follows the lives of a young couple, George (James Brolin) and Kathy Lutz (Margot Kidder), who move into an old house in Amityville, Long Island, with their three children. Unbeknownst to the family, the house had been the scene of a brutal mass murder the year before, when Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed his parents and four siblings while they slept. The movie explores the paranormal events that unfold in the Lutz's home in the 28 days after they move in, including creepy voices, unexplained coldness, and doors and windows that open and close by themselves.
The movie begins with a chilling sequence of the DeFeo murders, set to ominous music that sets the tone for the whole movie. The Lutz family then move into the house, and we see them settling in, painting walls, and cleaning rooms. The day they move in, they're greeted by the local priest, Father Delaney, who warns them that the house has a dark history and that they should stay away from the room where the murders took place. But despite his warnings, strange things start happening almost immediately. George becomes moody and withdrawn, spending long periods of time working in the basement, while Kathy experiences terrifying nightmares and sees glimpses of a demonic figure with red eyes. Their daughter Amy makes a new friend, a ghost called Jodie who takes the form of a pig, and their son starts talking to an imaginary friend named "Mr. Jangles."
As the days go by, the paranormal events become more and more terrifying, culminating in a scene where George wakes up to find that the house has become a freezing, foggy nightmare world, complete with floating corpses and creatures crawling on the ceiling. The family eventually decides to contact Father Delaney and ask for help, and he agrees to perform an exorcism on the house. However, the exorcism goes horribly wrong, and the priest is attacked by swarms of flies and driven to the brink of insanity. The Lutz family flee the house in terror, and the movie ends with a caption saying that they never returned.
The Amityville Horror is a classic horror movie for a reason. It's expertly directed by Stuart Rosenberg, who knows exactly when to let the tension build and when to unleash the scares. The performances from the cast are all excellent, with Brolin and Kidder in particular portraying the growing terror of the situation with nuance and depth. Steiger is also fantastic as Father Delaney, bringing a real sense of conviction to the role of a priest who has lost his faith.
One of the movie's greatest strengths is how grounded it feels, despite the supernatural elements. The story is based on a supposedly true event, and the filmmakers go to great lengths to make the Lutz family feel like a real, relatable family. We see them bicker, make up, and go about their business, all while the terror slowly creeps in around them. The movie also deserves credit for its iconic imagery, such as the shot of the house with glowing windows, which has since become a horror movie staple.
Overall, The Amityville Horror is one of the all-time great horror movies. It's a slow-burn, atmospheric movie that knows how to build tension and unleash scares with aplomb. Even today, over 40 years after its release, it remains a chilling and unnerving experience that's a must-watch for horror fans.
The Amityville Horror is a 1979 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 28.