Directed by Andrew Douglas, starring Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloe Moretz, Rachel Nicholls and Philip Baker Hall.
One of those 'event' horror movies from the 1970s, 'The Amityville Horror' hasn't stayed in the public consciousness the way, say, 'The Exorcist' or 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' have. But after the success of producer Michael ('Armageddon') Bay's Jessica Biel-starring remake of the latter, it was a no-brainer to dust off the story for a new generation.
This time it's Biel's 'Blade: Trinity' co-star Ryan Reynolds who's being tormented. He plays George Lutz, the new husband of Kathy (former 'Home and Away' star George) and aspiring father to her three children (James, Bennett and Moretz). Keen on a bigger home, George and Kathy see a place up for sale that's too good to be true. Sure enough it is: while the house has loads of space and even more potential, it was also the site of a family slaying. And now the Lutzes are about to face all its horrific secrets.
Few in Hollywood give horror fans credit for attention spans anymore, and 'The Amityville Horror' charges along like a beer keg rolling down Cork Hill, bouncing over character development and tension building along the way. Summoning up the same grainy visual style and true story angle as 2003's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', it's a frustrating 90 minutes because you can see that there was a better haunted house movie there for the making if director Douglas slowed things down a little and used more imagination. Unlike many of its multiplex peers, it does offer up a few decent scares, even if diehards will have seen them all before. As an allegory for getting in over your head with a mortgage, however, it'll keep you awake for weeks. Maybe years.