The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror (2005)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloe Moretz
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Photo Gallery, Previews

Its that time of year again, the time that sees cooler nights and shorter days, leaves on the trees are starting to turn a delightful golden-brown and we all accept the fact that summer is now just a faint memory. With Halloween fast approaching, here is my take on the recent remake of "The Amityville Horror".

With the trend to update classic horror tales from the past, this tired franchise is no exception, adding glossy special effects and a slightly altered take on the basic story, there is not a whole lot of originality going on with this film.

When George (Ryan Reynolds) and Kathy (Melissa George) Lutz move their family into a mysterious Long Island home, one that has its share of dark secrets tucked deep within its foundation, strange things begin to happen. Managing to only last a mere twenty-eight days, the Lutz family soon discovers that there dream home has become a virtual nightmare! With the restless spirits from the previous owners, who were all be murdered by a family member while they slept, terrorizing and adding to various macabre findings around the house, forces the Lutz family to flee the home on night with only the clothes on their backs.

Claiming that the original story is based on actual true facts is a separate controversy all its own. There are some who accuse the real-life George Lutz of concocting this rather elaborate story, simply to walk away from his burdening mortgage. While other individuals believe that the brutal murders, which occurred at the home only one year prior to the Lutz family moving in, just serve to contribute to the rather sinister past of this particular parcel of land. I'll let you be the judge of who you choose to believe.

MGM Home Entertainment provides a great anamorphic transfer for this 2005 version of "The Amityville Horror". Black levels were rich in depth with great shadow detail, which helped to produce a razor-sharp transfer. Color saturation was equally as impressive, providing naturally appearing flesh tones while displaying lush color detail that included everything from the lush green tones of the Long Island region, to the deep reds that were prevalent in most gore filled scenes. The overall transfer was free of any visible dust particles, compression artifacts or edge enhancements.

For sound, MGM has provided a great sounding Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The soundtrack was really loaded up with extra bass, which did a great job of adding sonic depth to suspense filled sequences. Vocals were mixed to appear natural in reproduction, combined with good use of all available channels, to offer a pleasing experience all around.

Waiting your arrival in the special features section is a full-length audio commentary, with participation from; actor Ryan Reynolds and producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. Featurettes titled "Supernatural Homicide" and "The Source of Evil" is paired with an "On Set Peeks" segment, followed by a total of eight deleted scenes, photo gallery and a preview section to complete the added value materials.

If you are looking for a cheap thrill this Halloween, then this update of "The Amityville Horror" might be just what you are looking for, but if you're hoping to be surprised by a great story with great performances, then you might want to look elsewhere.