#30 – The Amityville Horror
Reasons why – Amityville Horror is another atmosphere movie, this time based on a book that is supposedly a true story, which is creepy in itself. The reality itself that Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six of his family members while they were sleeping is horrific enough. Whether the haunted house story is true or made-up (which is rumored) is irreverent. Imagine living in a house where six people were killed during their sleep. Just knowing that would creep me out. The addition of a haunted house story with a priests involved in an attempted exorcism, well damn. That’s creepy. A personal memory for me was watching this at a friend’s house and walking home afterward late at night. The music in this movie was spooky and had me very aware of my surroundings and shadows that walk home. James Brolin owned and still owns this part (I like Ryan Reynolds but he‘s no James Brolin who was very convincing in his madness ala Jack Nicholson in The Shining). Sorry to the sequel, but the original is the superior model, though I do like the sequel as well.
Does it hold up? Yes, pretty well. The music is what helps after the visuals fail to scare as they did years ago.
Stars – James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger
Director – Stuart Rosenberg
Studio – MGM
Similar films – The Shining, House On Haunted Hill, The Haunting
Followed By – Amityville II: The Possession, Amityville 3-D, Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes, The Amityville Curse, Amityville: It’s About Time!, Amityville: A New Generation, Amityville Dollhouse, The Amityville Horror 2005
Runner Up – Carrie