Blu-Ray Review: The Amityville Horror

The most famous house in the history of horror film-making is undoubtedly 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island, New York. The publication of The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson in 1977, the true story of George and Kathy Lutz, brought infamy and media attention to the neighbourhood. This only increased with the release of Stuart Rosenberg’s film of the same name in 1979. The story has become part of American folklore.

Newly married, George (James Brolin) and Kathy Lutz (Margot Kidder) are relieved to find a house for themselves and Kathy’s children. After they’ve moved in, Kathy contacts Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) to bless the house. He arrives whilst they’re away but is driven out by a strange force and becomes seriously ill. Strange occurrences begin to happen to both the family and the priest. As the frequency of these increases, George’s tetchiness and anger begin to effect those around him.

I first watched The Amityville Horror when I was ten years old. All I can remember is the subsequent nightmares. Today, it still retains an eerie malevolent power. It’s disturbing and strange, but it’s hard to pinpoint precisely why. Maybe it’s the whole legend which surrounds it, but it leaves you feeling rather disturbed. Despite the occasional editing oddity and cheesy line, it’s surprisingly well acted and directed. It’s vastly superior to almost all the pale imitations which have been churned out since.

Bonus Features:

  • ‘Brolin Thunder’ – A new interview with actor James Brolin
  • ‘Child’s Play’ – A new interview with actor Meeno Peluce
  • ‘Amityville Scribe’ – A new interview with screenwriter Sandor Stern
  • ‘The Devil’s Music’ – A new interview with soundtrack composer Lalo Schifrin
  • ‘My Amityville Horror’ – feature-length documentary with Daniel Lutz
  • ‘For God’s Sake, Get Out’ – featuring James Brolin and Margot Kidder
  • Intro by Dr. Hans Holzer, PhD. in parapsychology (author of ‘Murder in Amityville’)
  • Audio commentary by Dr. Hans Holzer
  • Original trailer, TV spot, radio spots
  • Four reproduction lobby card postcards (SteelBook Exclusive)
  • New optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

The Amityville Horror is released in a limited edition steelbook by Second Sight on Monday 26 June.

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