Phillip Baker Hall
Okay, so he technically didn’t “make” THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, but he’s still responsible for it being redone/sequalized for the ninth time (no joke). And for that reason, you can label this film under “P” for pointless. I understand that the horror genre has been bled dry creatively, so I really wasn’t expecting them to set the new standard for scary movies; but I also didn’t want to watch a standard scary movie either.
Every horror cliché imaginable is present here. You’ve got your evil little girl, the child who’s friends with the evil little girl but whose parents assume is just an imaginary friend, blood pouring from the sink, windows and doors opening by themselves, and completely unnecessary jump-inducing sound effects (including the most dramatic car keys of all time). The only redeeming part of the entire hour and a half, aside from the world’s best babysitter, is Ryan “Holy crap, look how ripped I am!” Reynolds. I always thought Van Wilder had a future as a comedic actor, but who knew he could do the opposite end of the spectrum too? Reynolds seriously carries this movie on his intense and creepy shoulders.
Honestly, I was semi-enjoying THE AMITYVILLE HORROR for what it was (unapologetically violent, style-over-substance fun), that is, until its last act, where it devolves into utter stupidity. Let’s see, nobody likes your new home, your daughter is playmates with a devil child, a priest ran screaming from your house, and your husband’s obviously turning in to Jack Nicholson from THE SHINING, here’s an idea…leave!
“There’s no bad houses; there’s only bad people.” And bad movies, apparently.
Commentary with Ryan Reynolds and Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller: An informative and entertaining track thanks to Reynolds, who cracks sarcastic and keeps things light. (My favorite line…“Most of the bullets used in the gun were blanks.”)
Deleted Scenes: Eight excised scenes, mostly character moments that flesh out the family dynamic or the community. Seeing as how the movie runs a scant 89 minutes, I don’t see how leaving in these extra 8 minutes could’ve hurt. Oh wait, that’s right, we don’t want character in scary movies! Bring on more loud noises!
Supernatural Homicide (17:33): Interviews with police and various community members about the murders that are the basis for the film. Pretty interesting and kind of spooky, at least until you get to the disclaimer that tells you almost all of the interviews and footage was shot for the film. Michael Bay screws you once again.
The Source of Evil (26:28): Your standard “Making Of” feature, covering things from stunts to make up to the horror genre in general. And they actually made the little girl walk on the roof. Hooray for cinematic realism (and child labor)!
On-Set Peeks: An option to watch the film with nine multi-angle behind-the-scenes clips embedded inside. A neat feature, but I wish they had included a way to access the clips without making you watch the entire movie again.
There’s also a Photo Gallery, Previews and a few Easter Eggs, including (demonized) home movies and a “scare reel”—a two-minute montage of all the “scary” parts of the movie. So you can save yourself 87 minutes and just watch that.