This is the film I love the most. There’s something about The Amityville Horror (1979) that stirs the darkness deep within me. I was eleven when I read Jay Anson’s book of the same name that I found in one of my grandma’s stacks of paperbacks. She wasn’t too thrilled with me reading it, but didn’t stop me under two conditions. I didn’t come crying to her if I had nightmares, and that I didn’t tell my mom. Many years later, I saw this film, after seeing the 80s sequels Possession and 3-D.
The flashbacks while the real estate agent is showing them the house are absolutely chilling, and the perfect way to add some thrills during a rather pedestrian act.
The priest scene (fuck) is literally and figuratively a religious experience. I get the goosebumps whenever I witness it. Every second is filled with one disturbing event after the other, and Lalo Schifrin’s music is the perfect addition to this film, adding a nice layer of creepiness.
This is American International Pictures’ finest work. I’ve seen the majority of their films, so I feel like I’m an expert. The Amityville Horror is extremely minimal when it comes to effects, but the subtle usage is all it needs. The only one that bugs me is the glowing red eyes in the bedroom window, they look out of place with the rest of the film, and resemble the taillights of 1978 VW Beetle.
I give The Amityville Horror 5 out of 5 Stars.