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PCR # 264  (Vol. 6, No. 15)  This edition is for the week of April 11--17, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Amityville Horror"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, and Phillip Baker Hall
Directed by: Andrew Douglas
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Imagine you're George and Kathy Lutz (Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George). You've just stumbled onto the house of your dreams and it's basically a steal. You invite the town priest (Phillip Baker Hall) to come bless the house but are puzzled when you see him a few minutes later sprinting to his car in terror and driving off in a cloud of dust. Maybe the realtor gave you TOO good a deal.

I can remember sitting in my local barbershop in 1976 and, while waiting for my turn in the chair, picking up a copy of "True Detective" magazine and reading about the bizarre 1974 case of a young man who had murdered his entire family because his house told him to. A few years later a book, "The Amityville Horror," was published and soon made into a film. The story told of the 28 days the Lutz family spent in the murder house and how their lives were taken over. Now, 30 years after the original murders, a new film tells the story.

While the 1979 film dealt more with the effect the house had on the Lutz family, this one digs deeper into the history of the house. In fact, the film is more a story about the house then the family it is terrorizing. Though those familiar with the story will still recognize the flies, faucets pouring blood and the ominous voice that urges those that hear it to "Get out!" The film is also full of various shots of the murdered family, most notably the youngest daughter who finds a way to bind with the youngest Lutz child. As for the cast, both Reynolds and George do fine work as they do their best to fulfill their dream of raising their family in what they believe is their dream house. Reynolds' slow descent into madness is quite believable as he fights the voices and their demands. The shocks are many and well delivered. I dare you not to jump at least once.

I did a little research and found out that three families (currently the Wilsons) have lived in the house since the Lutz's fled. None of them have reported any trouble. Of course, after the film opens they may have to deal with more curious visitors than they already get.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give "The Amityville Horror"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "The Amityville Horror" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.