The Amityville Horror (2005)

The only thing I could recall about seeing this in the theater is that one of my friends is the toughest wrestler I’ve ever met and he continually lept to his feet at every single jump scare.

Years of the Amityville films being direct to video didn’t stop Michael Bay, MGM and Dimension Films with charging  Andrew Douglas with directing this remake. He’s since gone on to helm episodes of Netflix’s Mindhunter.

For what it’s worth, the studios claimed that the remake was based on new information uncovered during the research of the original story, but George Lutz claimed that nobody ever spoke to him or his family about the project. His attorney contacted the studios to express the thought that they didn’t have the right to proceed without his input. The case remained unresolved when Lutz died in May 2006. Man, the only thing scarier than the devil is our legal system.

Instead of James Brolin and Margot Kidder, here we have a pre-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. As for the kids, Jesse James plays Billy (no, not the outlaw nor the tattooed mechanic), Jimmy Bennett (the young Kirk from the modern Star Trek) is Michael and Chloë Grace Moretz is Chelsea. Phillip Baker Hall, who of course deserves better, plays a priest. And Rachel Nichols, who was Scarlett in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra plays the babysitter.

The new research is all about the fact that the house once belonged to a preacher named Reverend Jeremiah Ketcham, who killed plenty of Native Americans which caused the hauntings here at 112 Ocean Avenue. So yes, they set out to remake The Amityville Horror and made a turn into Poltergeist.

I love the Hollywood BS factory that spun stories that a dead fisherman washed up near the set, that Kathy Lutz died while they were filming and the fact that cast and crew members began waking up at 3:15 AM — the same time that Ron Defeo Jr. murdered his family. It gets so ridiculous that in 2008, Melissa George told Celebrity Ghost Stories that the terror she showed in the movie was real and that she was really being haunted.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

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