Why don’t we just enjoy our last meal together? Louise DeFeo

I’m an Amityville Horror fan, the original film is one of my all-time favorites, though not all of the sequels have received my approval. When I saw that The Amityville Murders (2018) was on one of the movie channels, I added it to the DVR, unaware previously that it existed. Talk about great marketing.

The film begins three weeks before the murders at 112 Ocean Avenue, showing events that may or may not have happened; who knows since good ole Ronald DeFeo, Jr changes his story as often as he changes his orange jumpsuit. The movie creators did a good job melding all the variations together to make a cohesive story, but like so many “horror” movies, nothing fun happens until close to the end. I know they were building to it, but they could’ve introduced some sooner.

As the story unfolds, I become annoyed that the attention to detail with the set and costuming aren’t 100% 1970s, nor is the hair. I guess close enough is good enough. If you’re going to do a period piece, no matter the period, make sure the little things are right, down to the labels on the canned vegetables. One other thing that bothered me was with the set in Butch’s room. Now, I must confess that I’ve never been inside the Amityville house, so I don’t know for sure, but I don’t get the concrete wall on the second floor, especially since it isn’t visible in any other room in the house.

John Robinson’s portrayal of Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. is believable and eerie as the possession begins, and he finally does as the voices demand. But hold on a second, aren’t they portraying him as just turning 18, when in fact he should be 23 or did I miss something from the birthday party at the beginning; I thought it was for Dawn and him.

The minimal effects are good with shadows lurking and Butch’s visions during dinner. I enjoyed how they used timestamps, and made a point that the shit was happening at 3:15 AM. Another nice touch was showing crime scene photos just before the shocking ending of the Lutz family moving into the house. And that brings me to the last thing that bugged me. I don’t want to say much, but it didn’t seem to fit and didn’t make sense; it involves Dawn.

The Amityville Murders was an interesting take on the franchise, and I give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

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