Film Review: ‘My Amityville Horror’

“My Amityville Horror”

The alleged demonic possession of the Lutz family and its suburban New England manse circa 1975 doesn’t lack for fascination, having inspired over the years a feature film, a prequel, a 3D entry, a TV movie, two direct-to-video sequels and now Eric Walter’s “My Amityville Horror,” a documentary itself possessed by the haunting Daniel Lutz, who was 11 when the news broke and is still spooked decades later. Currently scaring up receipts via VOD and limited theatrical, this docu plays like an extended episode of “Unsolved Mysteries,” deficient as it is in stylistic zeal, investigative spirit and plain old scares.

Where Walter’s film succeeds is in rendering Lutz, onscreen throughout, as an indelibly prickly and unsettling figure, a textbook trauma victim oozing tough-guy rage like a gangster in “The Departed.” Lutz’s reaction to the question of whether he’d ever take a test of his paranormal veracity nearly qualifies as horror. That the family’s claims of in-home levitations, hordes of flies and black toilets were issued a year after “The Exorcist” opened wide isn’t mentioned, although an interviewed shrink allows that Lutz’s memories are “soaked in suggestion.” Tech credits aren’t supernatural.

My Amityville Horror

(Documentary) Reviewed on VOD (HD), Minneapolis, Minn., March 15, 2013. Running time: 89 MIN.

An IFC Midnights release of a Film Regions International presentation of a Lost Witness Pictures production. Produced by Andrea Adams, John R. Blythe, Eric Walter. Executive producers, Ronald Puleio, Michael S. Russo. Co-producers, Rebecca Breithaupt, Laura Didio, Christine Irons.

Directed by Eric Walter. Camera (color, HD), Charlie Anderson; editor, Walter; music, Herman Witkam; sound, Travis Groves; re-recording mixers, Ronnie Van Der Veer, Wim Post; associate producers, Matthew Lacurts, Michelle Paster.

With: Daniel Lutz, Lorraine Warren, Bobby Sylvester, Elizabeth Loftus, Susan S. Bartell, Laura Didio, Joel Martin, Marvin Scott, Neme Alperstein, Ben Foti.

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  1. I think people should read the late Stephen Kaplan’s work entitled “The Amityville Horror Conspiracy. “

  2. Michele says:

    I also watched it on demand. I believe him and everything he went through. I wish for him healing and inner peace. God Bless You Daniel.

    • Phi says:

      Amen to that, Michele. The guy is obviously messed up by what happened, and I (as career military) do not blame him for refusing a polygraph (which both his parents DID pass) under the circumstances.
      Interesting take on the topic and it neatly fits in with what his brother (Chris Quarentino) has been saying for a few years now. It seems George Lutz was into some weird stuff. This is not a film for materialists and other spiritually autistic types.
      Fascinating watch.

      • wiles11 says:

        “spiritually autistic” — what a perfect tag for religious sheeple. Kudos to “Phi” — even all these years later — for putting a name to the sickness!

  3. Vern Garcia says:

    I watched it on demand. I really don’t know if he is credible. He seems so angry and comes off as overacting. Why didn’t his siblings come out and back up his story? They declinded to be in the documentary. His mother and stepfather are both dead. Funny how he blows up and refuses to do a lie detector test. I think the guy is broke and needs money. He keeps saying over and over again how he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who lived in the Amityville house but wants to get his” story out. Five other families have lived in the house since the Lutz’s lived there and report no incidents of any kind. I think it’s all a big made up story for money.

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