A Dvd Review, Part 2: The Amityville Horror (2005) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-14-2005, 12:06 PM
And so the same thing happened here for 2005's The Amityville Horror, where we get a very active and aggressive Dolby Digital mix, but yet something here is missing......it's almost as if a "blanket" could have been lifted off this track, and I am not saying that DTS would have solved this issue, but it seems like so much could have been done with the mix because it didn't have me jumping out of my sweet spot at home as it did in my theater seat. There is absolutely no doubt that this is an active mix -- from beginning to end, the entire soundstage is utilized, especially the rears, kept constantly alive with creepy audio cues and "stingers".....but there is that typical Dolby Digital lower-recording-decibel problem plaguing this track, whereby more amplification that usual is going to be needed through your system to really get immersed in this one....

The ridiculous whispering voices of "Catch em, kill em," suggesting Ronald DeFeo and George Lutz were being "ordered" by the house to kill their families, is rendered expertly on this Dolby track, filling the surrounds appropriately and creepily enough, and there are some moments of solid LFE, although I would by no means call this a bass-heavy soundtrack. The only problem I had with the audio of this mix was the overall volume output, which was on the typical Dolby Digital "low side"; otherwise, the track was appropriately aggressive and dynamic where it needed to be, and made constant use of the surrounds -- something I'm always listening for specifically.

The Special Features on the disc were nowhere as good as the extra History Channel documentary information MGM included in the Amityville Horror Collection box set, but there was an interesting snippet called "Supernatural Homicide Feature: Discussion of the DeFeo Murders and What Really Happened," which interviews the Amityville, New York police chief who responded to the call for the murders in 1974, as well as a Suffolk County, New York coroner and Lorraine Warren, who seems to get her face on every one of these Amityville documentaries -- she's one of the "demonologists" who believe the house at 112 Ocean Avenue is inhabited by "angry evil Indian spirits" and this drove Ronald DeFeo to murder and the Lutzes out of the house. Most of the documentary shows the fake, mock footage used in this remake to recreate the DeFeo massacre, and there are only a couple of real shots of the actual house the way it looked in the 1970s. Nobody really has much to say during the interviews that hasn't already been said, but it was an interesting snippet to watch nonetheless.

The remaining special features included Deleted Scenes (thank G-d these didn't get in because they would have wasted more of our time and thrown this film beyond the less-than-90-minute run time); The Source of Evil Making of Feature, which put me to sleep within minutes as we hear from the crew what it was like to make this absolutely inaccurate re-telling of the original story -- especially when the child actors began talking.....dear G-d was this awful and boring; Ryan Reynolds and Producer Commentary, Multi-Angle On-Set Peeks and a Photo Gallery.

Do yourselves a favor, friends. Stick to the original 1979 Stuart Rosenberg version of this picture starring Margot Kidder and James Brolin in the leads, as well as an over-the-top performance by Rod Steiger as their priest because as dated as that film may seem now, there is a creepy, deliberate pacing to it that is no way, shape, or form followed by this awful remake. And despite what Michael Bay and the producers say about this version keeping even more true to Jay Anson's novel, that is so far from the truth it's not even funny -- this remake takes many more liberties with the Lutz story than even the first one did, and that rang more true to the book.

I can only recommend this as a rental if you're curious to compare the original to it.

10-14-2005, 12:32 PM
Jeez Lex, if your reviews get any longer you might as well post the screenplay.

10-14-2005, 12:51 PM
Jeez Lex, if your reviews get any longer you might as well post the screenplay.

Sorry Noddin,

What happened was I needed to get that scenario of the film's theatrical debut in there, and that pushed the review to two pages. Thanks for reading though.