HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

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THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Mike Catalano

Directed by: Andrew Douglas

Starring:
Ryan Reynolds
Melissa George
Philip Baker Hall

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A family moves into a large house that was the scene of a mass murder. Bad idea? You betcha! Soon a whole lotta stuff is going bump in the night as the "evil" of the house begins possessing the father.

Is it good movie?
First off, should this remake have been made? No. Does it surpass the original? No, again. Is it still a fairly passable horror flick? I guess.

Now, before I delve fully into this review, there is one tiny aspect that I couldn't let slide when I saw this in the theater and still can't let slide now after watching it on Blu-Ray: In the mid-1970's, NO ONE had abs as ripped as Ryan Reynolds in this flick. Maybe I'm off my rocker or pointlessly nip-picking, but I couldn't get past the major 6-or-8-pack that Reynolds was rockin' whenever he took off his shirt (and believe me, he goes sans shirt a lot). To me, this was just a sign of lackadaisical filmmaking and it took me out of the narrative.

Now, on with the review... the acting was basically top notch all around in terms of the family getting spooked. If kids are in a horror movie and aren't adept at conveying "scared", there could be a problem. Thankfully, the AMITYVILLE kids clearly look like they're shitting their pants when the ectoplasm hits the fan. And I couldn't believe that Hit-Girl from KICK-ASS played the daughter! The beautiful Melissa George is also excellent as the wife of a dude in serious need of an exorcism enema. And last, but not least, Reynolds actually goes all out as the increasingly spooky father. I always pictured him as Van Wilder, but the dude really showed some seriously evil chops here, which probably explains why he is one of the most sought-after actors today.

I really wanted to like this movie more than I did. It seemed to have the makings for one roller-coaster of a haunted house flick. Unfortunately, I just wasn't blown away by much. There weren't any huge scares, the action took a tad too long to get underway, and there was no grand finale of an ending. This is a horror flick that just sort of... exists and I suppose that is ok. I'm just looking for something more within a major studio remake. Yeah, Platinum Dunes basically sucks. I'm not trying to sound mean here, it's just by now, a proven fact that they mostly churn out inferior remakes.

However, I am adding a big half a star to this review for the flick's inclusion of Rachel Nichols as a sexy babysitter. Fair is fair.

Video / Audio
Video Sure, the Widescreen 1.33:1 transfer looks extra crisp on Blu-Ray.

Audio English 5.1 DTS-HD, French Dolby Digital with Spanish subtitles.

The Extras
The extras are the same that were on the previously-released DVD.

A commentary by Reynolds and producers Brad Fuller & Andrew Form. Reynolds, again, is great here speaking with that kind of high-end charisma that explains how he could bag Scarlett Johansson.

A chilling featurette called Supernatural Homicides that delves into the true story behind the DeFeo murders on which the movie is based.

Eight pointless deleted scenes that were justly cut.

A behind-the-scenes featurette called The Sources of Evil that does an OK job of explaining the details of the flick with some cast interviews.

A multi-angle on-set peek feature that lets you get a different view after some particular scenes in the flick.

And a photo gallery.

Last Call
Strong performances by the cast definitely help the realism of the haunted scares, but the lack of any creativity or a true blast of an ending keep me from recommending this remade AMITYVILLE as a top choice.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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