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Amityville Horror, revisited
April 15, 2005 8:55 PM   Subscribe

The house in Amityville with the fan-shaped windows making an inhuman face is the Godzilla of haunted house movies. The town and current owner of the house where the DeFeo family was murdered try to downplay (registration required) its signficance. The trademark windows in the original have been replaced to disguise its identity, and lawsuits force studios to use a house-double. Although latest remake claims the status of "true story," the case has been widely dismissed as a hoax and the 2005 film has even rased the ire of George Lutz for how he is portrayed as the haunted father-figure. Other people involved in the case including convicted murder DeFeo are unhappy with the new attention. Still, the story has its true believers and psychics who argue the debunkers have their own agenda. Then again, Texas Chainsaw Massacre was also claimed by the same production company to be "inspired by a true story."
posted by KirkJobSluder (12 comments total)

 
"inspired by a true story" is a bit tricky when it comes to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as parts of it were inspired by Ed Gein's life, Manson, etc.

I don't care if they market it as a true story or not, Hollywood just needs to stop remaking movies and come up with some original ideas for a change.
posted by pemdasi at 9:49 PM on April 15, 2005


I saw the original movie AND read the book... I was in grade school at the time.

The only thing going for "The Amityville Horror" was the fact that it was supposedly true... that has since been debunked, and therefore it loses my interest. As a horror story goes, the original version was really, really dull. However, as a gullible kid in the early 80s, I spent many hours FREAKED OUT about the house in Amityville.

"The Amityville Horror" was like "The Blair Witch Project" of the 80s, and I give them both credit for freaking the hell out of me at the time, even though they weren't real. I'm a horror fan, so I love that... I don't mind being tricked, but please, don't expect me to fall for the same trick twice.
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:56 PM on April 15, 2005


The music is creepy, other than that...meh.
posted by hojoki at 10:27 PM on April 15, 2005


For the longest time I thought Amity (of Jaws fame) and Amityville were one in the same.

A house haunted by the ghost of a shark. That'd get me to shell out 10 bucks.
posted by unsupervised at 11:39 PM on April 15, 2005


For the longest time I thought Amity (of Jaws fame) and Amityville were one in the same.

They almost are. While the movie Jaws is set on "Amity Island" and filmed on Martha's Vineyard, the book is set on loverly Lon Gisland, home to Amityville, among other towns.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:14 AM on April 16, 2005


25000 flies.
posted by blendor at 12:15 AM on April 16, 2005


I used to hang out in the backyard of this house when it was between owners, soon after the original movie came out. The thing that always struck me was how the gangs of kids that hung out there never recognized that real horror that happened in the house had nothing to do with red-eyed pigs and flies. Somebody murdered their entire family. That's the only thing that gave me chills about the Amityville house.

They aren't lying when they say "based on a true story;" they are just being disingenuous by not saying which part of the story it's based on.

The Lutzes tried to capitalize on a family tragedy. That should have haunted them all their days. Apparently not, as Lutz is bitching up a storm about how he wasn't consulted for the new version.
posted by grey_flap at 5:50 AM on April 16, 2005



posted by strawberryviagra at 6:29 AM on April 16, 2005


I was going to say the exact same thing about Lutz, grey_flap. I don't think that you get to make up stories to capitalize on another family's tragedy and then whine about not being portrayed in exactly the light you would like.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:03 AM on April 16, 2005


That movie scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. But it also bothered me on some logical level: I couldn't quite figure out why, and then I heard a comedian (no clue who, Richard Pryor? Eddie Murphy back in SNL days?) riff on it and I got it - why would anyone stay in a house with blood dripping down the basement walls and a voice breathing GET OUT at them? I don't care if I had to go live in a cardboard box on the side of the interstate - I'd cut my losses, take my kids and leave. Who would stick around and keep on trying to exorcise the place?
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:00 PM on April 16, 2005


Interesting bit about the house by an FMU dj who's from Amityville (scroll down to March 31).
posted by scratch at 6:54 AM on April 18, 2005


I couldn't quite figure out why, and then I heard a comedian (no clue who, Richard Pryor? Eddie Murphy back in SNL days?) riff on it and I got it - why would anyone stay in a house with blood dripping down the basement walls and a voice breathing GET OUT at them?

It's an old Eddie Murphy bit. He did it on the album Comedian, but you can also see it in this SNL monologue.
posted by jonp72 at 2:29 PM on April 18, 2005


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