For a Christian film critic like me, one of the more interesting things about the recent glut of horror sequels and remakes is the opportunity it has given me to go back and look at the classic thrillers that I avoided at all costs in my younger days. When I was a child, I was reluctant to expose myself to any supernatural story that didn't have the clear imprimatur of some evangelical author or other, and by the time I became a man and put away childish things, many of the films made during my youth had faded into video-store oblivion. So the best thing I can say about Andrew Douglas's remake of The Amityville Horror is that it gave me a reason to track down the original film, which I remember hearing about when I was still in grade school, and which, to my surprise, has a fair bit of Christian content.

In that 1979 original, based on a book by Jay Anson and directed by Stuart Rosenberg (Cool Hand Luke), it is made very clear that George and Kathy Lutz are a Catholic couple, who count a nun among their relatives and ask a priest to bless their home as a matter of course. When the priest is driven out of the house by some sort of evil presence, he begs his ecclesiastical superiors to let him seek help for the family, but the church bureaucracy is skeptical of his claims and turns him down. In some ways, the film harks back to The Exorcist, but where that slightly earlier movie was content to express the conflict between skeptical modernity and spiritual pre-modernity suggestively, through its use of sounds and images and character arcs, The Amityville Horror spells things out more bluntly, as the characters use words like "modernist" and "rationalist" in their conversations.

Still, even a blatantly obvious discussion of the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

The Amityville Horror
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexuality and drug use)
Directed By
Andrew Douglas
Run Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Cast
Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett
Theatre Release
April 15, 2005 by MGM
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Tags:
Posted: