Saturday, December 10, 2011
I watched the original The Amityville Horror and observed that while the original is based on that 70s-esque slow build and creepy atmosphere, the remake relies on the characteristic jittery cuts and jump scares popular in the 2000s.
We've got the standard Amityville Horror story here, about a blended family moving into a large and haunted home in Amityville, Long Island. We all know they only lasted 28 days in the house, but let's stick around for the story. This time, George and Kathy Lutz are played by Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. They have three kids, Billy, Michael and Chelsea (played by Chloe Grace Moretz!) George Lutz is awoken at 3:15 each morning with a desire to check the boathouse. The Lutzes start experiencing strange occurrences in the house, including strange noises, windows opening, etc. Unlike the original Amityville Horror which clearly didn't have a special effects budget, this iteration features weird and creepy ghosts, including the little dead girl, Jodie.
Also unlike the original, the updated Amityville Horror focuses around "Ketch 'Em and Kill 'Em," the idea that the house was built on land where Native Americans were tortured and killed, by a cult preacher named Father Ketchum. They discover that these spirits, and the evil of Ketchum, possess the house.
I'm not one to immediately hate on remakes just for the fact that they are remakes. Along the lines of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, this is a pretty good update of a classic. The Ketchum backstory is a little lame, and I'm sure we're all sick of the over-makeuped creepy little girl cliche. But overall, a solid flick.