The Amityville Horror (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=120095&d=1221828954
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

74






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1979
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 119 Minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Mono
Subtitles:English, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese
Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Murray Hamilton, John Larch, Natasha Ryan
Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg
Music by: Lalo Schifrin
Written by: Sandor Stern based upon the book by Jay Anson
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 7, 2008







"For God's sake, get out !"



Film Synopsis:

The Long Island colonial house on the river's edge seemed perfect. Quaint, spacious and affordable, it was just what George and Kathy Lutz had been looking for. But looks can be deceiving...and their new dream home soon becomes a hellish nightmare as the walls begins to drip blood and satanic forces haunt them with sheer, unbridled evil. Now, with their lives -- and their souls -- in danger, the Lutzes must run as fast as they can from the home they once loved...or fall prey to its terrifying power!



My Take:

I was a freshman in high school when this film opened in theaters. I can recall the endless discussions that followed regarding the authenticity of the story. Quite frankly I could care less but there were many who took a fervent interest in the film and the story. I didn't see it theatrically but can remember seeing the trailer on TV and thinking that it looked pretty creepy. I didn't see the movie until it was on cable and it was scary enough that it did have an effect on me. There seemed like an endless number of sequels and remakes that followed due to the success of the original and interest in the story. I am not an authority on the subject but I can say with absolute certainty that Ronald Defeo murdered his parents and four siblings in the house in 1974, George and Kathy Lutz moved in during December 1975 and less than a month later moved out. Anything that happened in between is up to interpretation depending on what you opt to believe. As far as the film goes it is based upon the book by Jay Anson and is entertaining enough. It doesn't hold the same creep factor that it did for me when I was younger. It moves along nicely and quickly establishes the house as the villain. James Brolin and Margot Kidder were not A list actors in 1979 but its hard to imagine anyone else portraying the Lutz's. I couldn't help but feel that Rod Steiger over acted in this film. Don't get me wrong I think he was a fine actor but his performance was a bit too strong in my opinion. The movie feels dated but still has enough residual nostalgia to send a mild chill up your back here and there. There are many online websites that discuss the story of the house at in Amityville NY. For those who might be curious I would suggest a little reading because true or not it is quite interesting.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for disturbing images, violence, sexuality, and partial nudity.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 68



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692



Video: 80


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

The Amityville Horror comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 channel Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 mbps.

This video presentation was better than I anticipated. Images were clean with above average high definition resolution that brought out enough subtle refinement in close up shots so that they appeared firmly resolved. Long range visuals were not as resolute which resulted in objects in backgrounds lacking definitive clarity. Colors weren't especially vibrant but considering the less than vivid tones used back then I thought they came across naturally. I would prefer that they not be boldly oversaturated or exaggerated which can often be distracting. Blacks were consistent and fairly deep while offering very good gradational quality. Flesh tones were well delineated with discernible highlights and lifelike complexions. Grain is present in fine layers and appears natural. The audio quality was consistent with a 29 year old soundtrack recording. The mix tried a bit too hard to highlight certain elements in the recording. An example was during the scene when Kathy returns home with the groceries as George is outside chopping firewood. The shot is set up with her onscreen and him off screen behind the viewing position. The sound of the ax splitting the wood is mixed to the right surround channel. It is mixed 1 to 2 decibels too hot and is noticeable. The shot quickly switches back and forth a few times which I found distracting. There are other instances like this in the film. The sound effects associated with the thunder storm are pretty dated and sound a bit thin/edgy. As the repeated thunder claps erupt in the third act they become fatiguing because they are too prominent in the surround channels. Otherwise I thought that the surrounds were used effectively for mildly enveloping ambience and music reproduction. Dialogue intelligibility was never a problem and clarity overall was excellent. There is no deep bass reproduction to speak of however there is adequate bass support so that sound quality balance is present.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) BD Previews: Terminator and Species




Final Thoughts:

Looking at the Amityville Horror from a realistic perspective as being based upon true events would make it hard to swallow. According to some there are aspects of the original story that may be inexplicable. There are others that are very quick to point out its inconsistencies. I recommend that those who are really curious do some online research and try and make your own judgment. As far as the film itself goes I think that it has its moments but is really just an average horror movie that now feels dated. I am happy to report that Fox has brought it to Blu-ray Disc featuring high definition video quality that is very good and certainly a significant improvement over any previous DVD version. The downside is its lack of inclusion of the bonus features from the 2005 DVD release. Fans will have to decide whether a purchase is warranted.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 12:46 PM
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Thanks, Ralph. Been trying to find this one to buy within a reasonable distance, but none of the places I went had it in stock; that is the major problem with catalog releases on this format, smaller places not carrying anything but the BIG releases. It's frustrating, to say the least.

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_B View Post

Thanks, Ralph. Been trying to find this one to buy within a reasonable distance, but none of the places I went had it in stock; that is the major problem with catalog releases on this format, smaller places not carrying anything but the BIG releases. It's frustrating, to say the least.

This is a must own. This really creeped me out as a child. In seen a piece on in search of. Claims the house was built on a Indian buriel ground where they buried the insane and wicked. I heard Mr Lutz on a radio show. It was a HR long interview. He claimed the movie wasn't 100% accurate. Things were added to increase the fear factor.

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 02:30 PM
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Question to Horror Fans

Do you actually get scared/terrified when watching a horror movie?

The reason I'm not a big fan of horror films is because they don't nothing for me although I can appreciate one with good acting and script, like The Sixth Sense.

I'm just curious.

EDIT: Please answer here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post14841709
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Bonus Features:


  • (HD) BD Previews: Terminator and Species

Terminator and Species previews...hmm...

Has this Blu-ray release been sitting on the shelf for two years?
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinema Squid View Post

Terminator and Species previews...hmm...

Has this Blu-ray release been sitting on the shelf for two years?

Greetings,

I thought about that as well...


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post #7 of 12 Old 10-10-2008, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

I thought about that as well...

Thinking about it a little, I guess it wouldn't be that strange. If they wanted an October release to maximize "Halloween" sales, but didn't have it quite prepared for 2006 and didn't like the 2007 schedule, thus punting to 2008.

Anyway, thanks for the (as per usual) excellent review.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-11-2008, 11:20 AM
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Yes, it was annouced earlier and then pulled; maybe someone can find the original release date, I'm thinking last year.

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-11-2008, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_B View Post

Yes, it was annouced earlier and then pulled; maybe someone can find the original release date, I'm thinking last year.

It was originally scheduled for release on October 9, 2007.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-11-2008, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rveras View Post

Question to Horror Fans

Do you actually get scared/terrified when watching a horror movie?

The reason I'm not a big fan of horror films is because they don't nothing for me although I can appreciate one with good acting and script, like The Sixth Sense.

I'm just curious.

EDIT: Please answer here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post14841709

I always go into one, hoping it will spook me some. I've never been scared (thinking about it when going to bed, losing sleep over it) of a horror movie once in my life, except after first watching The Ring. I don't know why, but that definitely did it for me.

But I like horror movies... it's my own little getaway from those blockbuster action and comedy flicks.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-12-2008, 08:21 AM
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Ralph, thanks for your review which is pretty much spot on. In observance of the Halloween holiday my family usually picks several horror/fantasy films to watch and this year it included the Blu-ray version of 'The Amityville Horror'. As a rental it's worth revisiting but there's little here to make it a purchase for me. The sound effects were definitely dated and painful to listen to.

It certainly wouldn't be a stretch to say that this film probably inspired Steven Spielberg's idea for 'Poltergeist' - whether intentional or not - three years later. There were so many similar elements between the two films that make you go 'aha!'.

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post #12 of 12 Old 10-14-2008, 06:20 AM
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Any DNR on this release? The broadcast version was all waxed up ala The Sixth Sense.

Update: Nevermind. Screen captures at DVDBeaver are clean.
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