Thursday, March 28, 2013

Film Review: My Amityville Horror

Michele Wilson-Morris & Paul Anderson

Very few horror films have touched audiences around the world like The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Omen, and The Amityville Horror. It seems that viewers are drawn to movies that claim to be based in fact that can perhaps provide a glimpse into a world of darkness whose very existence is still being debated. There are very few people, however, who saw The Amityville Horror without having its darkness being permanently seared into their memories. The Amityville Horror, which was released in July 1979 and starred James Brolin and Margot Kidder as George and Kathy Lutz, along with Rod Steiger as Father Delaney, became an instant classic horror film. My Amityville Horror takes you much farther on the ride and allows viewers to decide for themselves whether it's true or not.

The Lutz Family had 3 young children whose names were changed from one movie to the next to protect their privacy after abandoning their home at 110 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York just 28 days after moving in. Danny Lutz was the eldest child, and he has finally come forward to tell his story in the documentary My Amityville Horror from director Eric Walter. Released on March 15, 2013, My Amityville Horror is the epitome of the saying "I wish I were on fly on the wall" as the now fully grown Daniel Lutz releases his version of the unspeakable evils that allegedly took place in his home. Laura Didio, the Channel 5 investigative reporter who broke the story, has a major presence in the documentary as well, as do other members of the parapsychology team who were witnesses to these events. 

One thing is certain: Daniel Lutz was robbed of a normal childhood. But was it a mixture of practically nonexistent parenting skills and family conflict along with a vivid imagination that tormented him? Or was there an inescapable, undeniable, uncontrollable evil that dwelled in the house with the Lutz family as a result of George Lutz's obsession with the occult, demonology, and mind control (and even telekinesis) that doomed the Lutz family to 28 days of torture that would forever change their lives? My Amityville Horror gives viewers an opportunity to decide for themselves. 

This film shows a frustrated and disturbed individual who has seemingly made demands upon the director to portray him as a traumatized man and a misunderstood wanderer with secrets that he’d rather not share, though he gladly rocks out on some metal or acoustic guitar for you throughout the documentary. The anger of being yesterday’s news and grasping at new attention with this film seems to come across, as he tries to brand himself as his parents did in the 1970's with their infamy and book and movie deals. 

Viewers will each come away with their own opinions after seeing My Amityville Horror, but one thing is almost certain. No viewer will be unaffected as it takes you on a very compelling, but frightening journey -- one that will stay on your mind long after the credits stop rolling.