Directed by: Andrew Douglas
Premise: The Lutz family moves into a haunted house and is plagued by the ghosts of the house’s past.
What Works: This version of The Amityville Horror is very scary. The family dynamics feel authentic, especially the interaction between George (Ryan Reynolds), the stepfather, and the children (Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, and Chloë Grace Moretz). There are a lot of jump moments throughout and it has a great tone. The third act really delivers and is well paced.
What Doesn’t: As scary as the film is, it could have been better in places. Some of the sequences, such as the baby sitter scene, are not paced correctly and do not maximize their scariness. The film reveals too much of the ghosts in its first half and the second act drags a little.
Bottom Line: The Amityville Horror is the latest in a surprisingly good series of remakes of classic 1970s horror films (the others including Dawn of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Despite its flaws, this is actually a better film than the original and a worthy entry in the genre.
Episode: #48 (April 17, 2005)