October 6, 2013

Filthy Review - 'The Amityville Trilogy'

The Amityville Horror Trilogy (2013) 
Review by Jude Felton

As far as I am concerned there were, and are, only three Amityville Horror flicks, and those are the three contained in this set. Sure, there are eleven kicking about out there, but the links get weaker and weaker; a possessed lamp? A dollhouse? Come on people, who green lights this shit? Anyway, let’s forget about those and focus on the three contained here.

The Amityville Horror (1979) has been a favorite of mine ever since I first saw it on laser disc, way back in the day. It scared the crap out of me as a child, and I still enjoy it to this very day. For some reason it isn’t all that popular with genre fans, but as far as haunted house flicks go, it’s right up there for me.

It focuses on the Lutz family, who move into the iconic Long Island house after snagging a great deal on the property. In hindsight, we all know why this is, and it’s not too long before George Lutz (James Brolin) goes batshit and moans a lot about the heating. Seriously, Brolin’s beard should have got its own credit in this film. Sure, it’s daft but it is spooky and that haunting score is just wonderful.

For the sequel, Amityville 2: The Possession (1982), the filmmakers decided to make a prequel, long before it was hip, and told the story of what happened in the house, before the Lutzes moved in. It’s a story that was told in the first flick; the son goes bonkers and takes a shotgun to his family, but here we learn that he is, wait for it….possessed.

Amityville 2 is actually probably the best in the series. It retains the spookiness of the first, amps up the gruesome scenes and also features Burt Young at his wife-beating best. He actually plays the role of Anthony Montelli very well, and shows that he was an underrated actor in his prime.

By the time we get to Amityville 3-D (1983) it is quite apparent that all semblance of plot and common sense has flown out of the window. It’s here that the shit starts to seep through the basement floor and, forgetting any idea of a good script, just decided to make it in 3D. Gone are the scares and generally evil atmosphere, and in their places we get Meg Ryan and a poo monster.
The plot follows a couple of journalists who are out to debunk stories of the haunted Long Island house, which results in one of them buying it and moving his family in. And then, you know the rest, aside from maybe the poo monster and dodgy 3D flies. It’s a poor movie, and really signaled the end for the franchise. Well, it should have.

Despite the third turd in the series, this is the collection to get. Amityville 3D has no real extras, aside from a trailer and the option to watch it in 3D (which admittedly is pretty cool), but the first two movies fair a lot better. A couple of commentaries, some interviews and a documentary are among the features contained here.

As far as the packaging goes, and I know that that isn’t all that important, I wasn’t too impressed with the box itself. However, it was nice to see the original poster artwork on the individual Blu-rays, each one having some cool promo shots on the interior.

If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll want to pick this set up, and if you’ve yet to see them then this is a good place to start. At the end of the day, it’s great to see these films get the Blu-ray treatment, especially being a fan of the first two films. So, two fun films out of three is not bad at all, just stay away from Mr. Poo in Amityville 3D and embrace the Brolin beard instead.

The Amityville Trilogy is released by Scream Factory, and is available now.

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