The Amityville Horror (1979/MGM Blu-ray)
Picture: B Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: C+
covered the film and its two theatrically-released sequels in a DVD box set MGM
issued a while ago at this link:
International had one of their biggest hits (before merging with Filmways) with
the original Stuart Rosenberg (Cool Hand
Luke, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) version of The Amityville Horror in 1979 that is
much better than the remake, yet is not a great film. Temporarily reinventing the haunted house
film, a young couple (James Brolin and Margot Kidder) find a nice house that
they like, is cheap and seems perfect for the price, but they’ll pay a higher
price when all is over.
there had been an all-family murder-suicide and now, the whole place is cursed
with some evil that no one is yet aware of.
Now the couple will call on the help of a priest (Rod Steiger) and more
before they will conquer, leave or simply be destroyed.
film arrived, the makers said it was based on a true story, but when it was
reveled that this was a big lie, that was the end. There were still two sequels and a remake,
but the hype was dead. Kubrick’s The Shining (1980, a year later) put
the final stake in the heart of this exploitation sham, but the makers were
ambitious and it is at least still interesting and worth a look. The film also stars Murray Hamilton, Don
Shroud and John Larch as fellow priests and a pre-Supergirl Helen Shaver in
this sometimes amusing romp.
AVC @ 17 MBPS digital High Definition image was shot by Director of Photography
Fred J. Koenekamp, A.S.C. (Patton, Billy Jack) with an effectiveness that
helped make the film a hit and this is a slightly faded print, but you can
still see the good work and how the house becomes a character in the way it is
shot. The DTS HS Master Audio (MA)
lossless 5.1 mix has a score by Lalo Schifrin that also helps the film, but
here, the original theatrical mono has not been as upgraded as it should be and
sounds poor throughout. There only
extras are trailers for this film and the first installments in the Terminator and Species series. Guess all
want o avoid the controversy about the lying.
- Nicholas Sheffo