Directed by: Daniel Ferrands
Movies about haunted houses are one of the oldest themes employed by mystery and horror movies. When it comes to movies informed by the book “The Amityville Horror”, there’s a legacy of almost thirty movies as of this writing.
Guess which number is 2018’s “THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS” in the list of Amityville movies? The twenty-third! By watchers of the saga that ranked it on IMDb.com, it’s better than 14-15 of the other movies informed by the Amityville saga.
The DeFeo family lives in a house called High Hopes in Amityville, New York. In this interpretation of the Amityville story, Butch DeFeo is a junky. Much of the character substance (no pun intended) depends on his drug fiend traits. He steals from his father, apparently some kind of mafia middle-man, a bag full of wads of money. From an unseemingly set up like this, the story evolves in a way that filled my expectations as what an Amityville movie should be.
More than a decade ago, when I watched my first movie featuring Diane Franklin, I fell in love with how she looked. I could pay lip service to her saying how I liked her just because it was her playing Louise DeFeo.
But I wouldn’t be doing Paul Ben-Victor justice if I didn’t say what I thought of him. To me, he was the most memorable character of the movie, how he played Ron De Feo Sr was very believable, as the feelings of repulsion for him I felt also were.
I didn’t pay much attention to the house, but I think it was a Dutch Colonial Mc Mansion, as expected. I liked that this movie had a few sunny day scenes outside of the house.
The only moment that I thought something in this movie devalued it was a far-fetched scene with heavy CGI. If you saw the movie, you’ll know what I mean. If you didn’t I’m sure you’ll spot the scene and realize what I’m talking about.
What personally disappointed me is the very poor treatment of the paranormal side of the story. The CGI scene I named is part of this treatment, but other than that, the movie doesn’t have any memorable paranormal undercurrent going.
In this take on the Amityville saga, that’s just a retelling of the story we know, I think the social commentary was in making Butch a drug fiend. Without becoming an exploitation movie, we are faced with the ugly truth of hard drug abuse, and how things are worse than ever in that sense.
I definitely recommend Amityville fans to watch it. Seen from my own point of view of a fan, it’s nice to see new retellings of a story one knows, even if just to reminisce.
This must be the second time I watch an Amityville movie that is in fact a prequel, and not a version of Jay Anson’s novel; telling the story of the DeFeos and not the Lutzs.