×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘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.

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

Film Review: 'My Amityville Horror'

More Film

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content