Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Writers: Sandor Stern, Jay Anson
Stars: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger
This is a review of the original Amnityville Horror movie – not to be confused with the newer version (which I’m sure will appear on my website on another day). A film from the 1970’s, it’s actually aged rather well in terms of visuals, and most people today won’t recognize the wife as Louis Lane – I’m just getting old.
A charming story that starts with a couple house shopping – as many movies do – and finding a beautiful house at a price too good to be true (which honestly worries me now when I’m house hunting), and of course, all is peaceful as they get themselves settled in.
The real meat of the movie occurs as time passes. Of course things start slowly and build, each day bringing something new and different. I’ve long felt that this movie is one of the best early examples of music used to really build tension and set a scent. The strings and minor chords really set a person on edge, and combine with the overall sense of dread the movie builds. Of course, towards the middle, the movie starts to get a little slow, taking its time to build between events, seemingly starting at ground 0 for each one.
The eventual reveal of why all these things are happening to the family even feels a little slow, losing some of it’s momentum before really getting started. Over all, even though this is a classic, the pacing leaves a lot to be desired. Despite that, it’s still a re-watchable movie, and over all, not entirely terrible, earning itself three bloody kitties.