The ‘Amityville Horror’ house: The most haunted content from 22 films
The word is out that there is yet another telling of the infamous Amityville Horror scheduled for a 2020 release, bringing the current number of movies based on the haunted house up to 22.
While the newest film, Amityville 1974 isn’t set to be released until October, we’re already working through the previous tellings of our favorite haunted home, and the crime that started it all.
Here are all of the best films covering the Amityville Horror, and the backstory on the house that launched 22 films.
The Amityville Horror house, the beginning
Still standing in the Long Island town of Amityville, NY, the home where the horror stories began is a mere thirty miles outside of New York City. Last sold in 2017 for $605,000 (a whopping $200,000 below its asking price), the home has changed hands four times since the murders occurred.
On the morning of November 13th, 1974, 23-year-old Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family, both of his parents and his four siblings in their sleep. At 6 pm that evening, he claimed to have discovered the bodies in his locked house before he ran to a bar down the street, arriving in a fit of hysteria. The police were called, and his Butch’s innocence was almost immediately questioned.
During Butch’s trial, both the defense and the prosecution agreed that he was mentally ill, however, he was still determined to be able to tell right from wrong, and he was sentenced to six life sentences.
The Amityville Horror house’s haunting
Soon after Butch DeFeo’s trial, newlyweds George and Kathy Lutz purchased the Amityville house for the exceptionally low price of $80,000. They managed to live in their “dream home” for only 28 days before moving out, claiming that the house’s paranormal activity made the home unliveable.
Some of the claims the Lutz family made about the house include strange odors, cold spots, and green slime oozing down the walls and in keyholes. The family experienced a nightly wakeup at 3:15 am, the time when the murders were suspected to be committed.
Kathy and her two sons also appeared to levitate in their beds and an invisible spirit knocked a knife down in the kitchen. Additionally, when a priest came to send the spirits from the home, he claimed he heard a voice scream, “Get out!”.
While Kathy and George’s claims of the house being haunted have always been suspect, the story has remained a part of the American lexicon, and its telling continues.
The Amityville Horror retellings
Lovers of a good ghostly tale can’t go wrong with the original, The Amityville Horror (1979). Starring James Brolin as George Lutz, and Margot Kidder as Kathy Lutz, the movie was released only two years after the bestselling book of the same name.
Still terrifying 40 years later, The Amityville Horror (1979) is the truest to the original story of any of the adaptations. Brolin’s George Lutz is convincingly dark and disturbed as a house not only haunts him and his family but changes him as a person.
2005’s The Amityville Horror starring Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz, tell the story with a bigger emphasis on the original murders. A darker and more intense version of the story, 2005’s The Amityville Horror never falls into the cheesy trap some of its predecessors do.
2012’s My Amityville Horror documentary is Daniel Lutz’s personal retelling of his time in the Amityville Horror house. The first time he actually shares his experience and how his time in the home affected him, the documentary adds fuel to the story of the haunting. Even those who may not believe in an actual haunting will have a hard time doubting that something terrible happened to Daniel Lutz in the Amityville Horror house.