Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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APRIL 14, 2005

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I'm not a big patron of horror movies, so I guess I'm not as forgiving as someone who is. If I come across one, I tend to judge it on its merits as a film, rather than forgive its shortcomings in favour of frights. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about my lack of horror-movie subjectiveness for The Amityville Horror -- this movie wouldn't, nay, couldn't -- scare a ten year old, even a creepy, angelic ten year old who sees dead people.

A remake of the 1979 film of the same name, Amityville is the supposedly true story of the Lutz family, who got a bargain on a stately Long Island mansion, only to find out it was still haunted by (amongst other things), the family that had been slaughtered there a year prior. After 28 days the Lutz family got out of Dodge, leaving all their possessions behind and never returning for them.

The original had James Brolin and Margot Kidder, who I guess equate to Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder) and Melissa George (Aussie totty) in that they were also kinda B grade (maybe B+ grade). The leads job it, and the kids are downright fucking annoying, but that's not what makes or breaks the film (in this case, breaks). Andrew Douglas, in his first big feature, manages to do everything he can to downright piss off his audience without providing the necessary payoff. The opening will hurt your eyes, the "happy… so happy" home video edits will test your patience, and the dime-store symbolism (The balloon is red… as is BLOOD… THE BLOOD OF CHILDREN) will have you checking your watch.

The film isn't horrible, but it isn't worth whatever they're charging for tickets these days (I usually just hand over my watch before going in), and it fails in its primary function -- as a date movie. A horror movie should get a woman jumping in your lap out of fright, not making unfavourable comparisons between your body and Ryan Reynolds'. Reynolds spends half the movie complaining how cold the house is and the other half with his shirt off, displaying his very impressive body. And there's a flash of Melissa George's pantied ass, but it's not enough… it's never enough…

The Amityville Horror: Meh
Van Wilder: Eh
Melissa George's tush: Ahhh…
Margot Kidder: Ahhh!!!!


THE AMITYVILLE HORROR stars Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. It's rated MA and runs 95 minutes.


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