It’s hard to make Ryan Reynolds unlikable, but the relentlessly dark and dour 2005 remake of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR achieves the impossible.
The original 1979 adaption of the “true” bestseller by Jay Anson is legendary for Rod Steiger’s over-the-top priest, Margot Kidder’s screaming and Jody that pig in the upstairs window. But even in its late seventies schlock and blood dropping walls, it was a fun scare.
There is NOTHING fun about the remake.
George Lutz (Reynolds) and his new bride Kathy (Melissa George) have juts merged families and move into a home that’s just too good to be true (GET OUT!!!).
Faster than they can start unpacking, demonic forces start appearing to young daughter Chelsea and George starts acting like a madman.
Chelsea is played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Carrie) in her film debut, she went on to much better films.
In the original, James Brolin at least had some fun scenes as George, making his transition into a madman more powerful. This time around, Reynolds barely registers on screen until he starts hearing voices in the basement and wielding a very sharp ax.
Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) is reliably great as Father Callaway, he’s the best thing in the movie during his brief screen time. His careful words to Kathy about the one-eyed doll that Chelsea carries everywhere is the creepiest moment of a movie dying for some sense of style.
Meh. It’s all just so unnecessary.
This was Andrew Douglas’s first time in the director chair for a major film, and his last.
There’s no real flow to the horror, just some decent jump scares and dread without any real build to the suspense.
It made over $100 million at the box office and is only 90 minutes long, so it’s got that going for it.
I’ll call it superfluous and give it a C-. Without Reynolds and Moretz, it would be an F.