This hair-raising remake of the 1979 horror hit depicts the ordeal of the Lutz clan, whose new home has a gory past and a legacy of demons. Before long, the family patriarch is plagued by nightmares and his daughter is seeing phantoms.
_**Effective haunted house movie with Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George**_ A young couple with three children buys an old, large house on Long Island in 1975. The house has a diabolic history, but they purchase it anyway because it's such a great deal. Will they make it out alive? I didn’t have high hopes for "The Amityville Horror" (2005) because I'm not a fan of haunted house movies and thus had not yet seen the original version. But I decided to give it a try due to Melissa George. The movie maintains a serious tone throughout and did not disappoint; it successfully piqued my interest in the whole Amityville Horror legend, which you can read about on the internet. Some may accuse the film of ripping off aspects of "The Shining" (1980), but keep in mind that the original movie was released a year before "The Shining" while the books they were based on were both published in 1977. The difference is that “The Amityville Horror” was inspired by supposedly true events whereas Stephen King’s novel was purely fictional. Of course this remake inspired me to see the classic version from 1979 with James Brolin and Margot Kidder. What I like about that one is that it takes its time to develop the characters in what is essentially a realistic drama topped off with creepy paranormal happenings. It addresses dark, ugly stuff but it actually has a warm heart (recall what George does in the final scene). This brisk 2005 remake is like the Reader’s Digest version, unsurprisingly upping the ante with the (clichéd) horror elements; it thankfully offers interesting details on the backstory of the house. I think they’re both worth checking out. If you prefer longer with more depth you’ll favor the original version whereas if you want something faster and more modern you’ll appreciate this one. Melissa George is a gorgeous woman and I enjoy watching her. Also on hand on the feminine front is Rachel Nichols, who played Tamara in the 2011 redo of "Conan the Barbarian." Rachel plays a hippie chick babysitter and she's perfect for the role. The babysitter is haughty and scoffs at the diabolic history of the house but let's just say she leaves as a true believer. This was a great sequence that perked my interest at a time it needed it (as I was starting to get bored by that point). In any event, I had to reassess my appraisal of Ms. Nichols after seeing her in this film as she won my appreciation. Meanwhile Chloë Grace Moretz plays the little girl; she was only 7 when the film was shot. Ryan Reynolds as the husband is fine, but he seems TOO in-shape for the role. However, I'm sure the ladies appreciate it. The film runs 1 hour, 29 minutes, and was shot at Silver Lake and Salem, Wisconsin, with other parts filmed in the Chicago area of Illinois. GRADE: B