Saturday, October 13, 2012

Amityville Rules: The Amityville Horror (2005)

Everything old is new again- thanks, Michael Bay!  Thanks to Platinum Dunes, we have had such remakes as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes and this film.  Yea?  The question here is whether or not it matches up the original movie.  Well, in short, 'no.'  Granted, others may disagree.  I'll get into *my* problems with the film in the later parts of this review though.  The important thing to note is that George Lutz actually sued the Studio over the film.  He had issue with two scenes in particular...which I'll discuss later.  Yeah, I'm being a tease today.  On the plus side, Lutz (who died in 2006) didn't live to see what The Asylum did to his story!  To find out what went right and wrong in this Remake, read on...
One change is that you actually see the DeFeo son who killed his family.  I swore that it was Jason Segel at first- it's not.  Naturally, they show more blood too.
In a curious touch, they show '70s footage to make the coverage of the murders look more real.  It's a neat touch...but now all it does is remind me of the Stock Footage from Flight of Fury.  Sorry, movie.
I was worried that this was going to be Found Footage for a bit...but this passes.  You know that if they actually made a new one today, it would be.  You know, kind of like this thing.
Here's my problem with the movie: they show everything.  I know that some of you will like the film for it, but I don't.

Leave some goddamn mystery, guys!
In place of the nerdy babysitter, we have...well, this whore.

Fun Fact: Megan Fox tried out for this role.  Yeah, I could see that.
In a weird change, the Priest doesn't appear until nearly an hour into the film.  That's...kind of weird, especially given that there's still a major character actor in the role.  His role is really cut down here too...for some reason.
Here's why Lutz sued: their version hacks up the dog with an axe.  In addition, he also makes coffins for his family.

To be fair, if your story is barely-verifiable to begin with, some minor changes are silly to sue over.  I'm just saying...
This movie also explains why the House is haunted.  The reason: the ghost of a dead Preacher who tortured Indians on said property.  Thanks for that micro-fiche explanation, movie!

How does that expression go?   Something about how if you have nothing clever to say, don't say anything at all.
The Lutz's still escape, but the film has to make sure to show us one more F/X shot to close it out.  Thanks for really highlighting the problem so clearly.  The End.
Can we just love good enough alone.  I liked the original film.  As I said in my review this week, I had problems.  I'll give you that.  This film does pretty much the same thing as the other one- just with more jump scares.  Half of them don't even make sense too.  Why does an Indian Ghost appear behind the younger song brushing his teeth...and do nothing?  How about the little girl being the only one able to see the dead girl ghost...except for that one scene where Ryan Reynolds sees it too.  Speaking of him, there's a weird thing where he is shirtless a lot.  I guess that's one way to get a demographic to see your movie, huh?  The only actual nudity in the film is from him too, unless you count three seconds of a body double shot from an awkward angle...which I don't.  There are just a lot of odd, arbitrary changes like the Priest not appearing until much later and two supporting characters being excised entirely- save for one Deleted Scene.  Oh and the Red Evil Room is now behind wooden paneling AND a brick wall.  Hurray for consolidation!  It also leads to a long, torture corridor that was apparently not on the floor plans.  If you like movies that excise subtlety for constant F/X shots to keep the perceived ADHD audiences' attention, this one is for you.  If you like understated horror, watch the original.  They do have one thing in common though...
Next up, a week of Foreign Horror Films.  First up, the Brits make a zombie film...which puts me to sleep.  Stay tuned...

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