The Amityville Horror

Bomb Rating: 

When I was a kid, we had many cats. We kept our normal house cats, but we also fed the local strays on the back porch. Unfortunately, because they weren't trained, they tended to do their business out there and the back porch reeked of cat urine. The cat urine eventually ate through the linoleum and the wood flooring and the cement foundation. When we finally tried to sell the house, nobody would buy it because, they all said, there was no way to get the cat urine smell out of the house without tearing down the entire back porch. Fortunately, we were finally able to sell the house to a veteran who had lost his sense of smell in 'Nam.

I submit that nobody in his right mind would buy a house that smelled of cat piss. However, apparently desperate suburban couples will gladly move into houses in which entire families have been slaughtered and demons roam around freely in the ducts. This is precisely what George and Kathy Lutz (Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George) do. Of course, they don't know just how haunted the house really is, but when they do finally discover the extent of the evil, they ride it out to the point that George is wielding an axe and threatening to chop his stepkids in half.

It's not like the house has legs, which is why the whole premise of this film (and its 1979 original) is so stupid. If things get really bad, here's some simple advice: JUST RUN AWAY. The house doesn't chase you. You're free of the evil. Then you make a call to your insurance agent and file a claim under the "Evil House" clause. However, we know from the very beginning of this film that George Lutz is precisely the kind of guy stupid enough to get himself involved in an evil situation and then try to ride it out as though everything were going well. After all, he marries a woman with three children, which pretty much makes the notion of hell redundant. So really, I think that when George starts hearing voices and seeing things, it's not so much that he's being possessed by the house as he's realizing that his swinging bachelor life is truly over.

The critical moment in "The Amityville Horror" comes right after George and Kathy have their first look at the house and the real estate agent actually tells them the last family was murdered in it. Don't you do some serious research at that point? Don't you go into the town and ask about the house, or at least Google the address plus the phrase "unspeakable evil"?

So for those who need a good litmus test for buying that evil house, try this one: Hire a handyman to clean your ducts. If he never comes out, don't buy the house.

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