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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: MGM - 2005
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 89 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Philip Baker Hall, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennet, Chloe Moretz
Directed by: Andrew Douglas
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Written by: Scott Kosar
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 14, 2010

"Based on the true story"

Film Synopsis:

From Michael Bay, the producer of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, comes the true story of Amityville. In November 1974, a family of six was brutally murdered. Now, a year later, an unsuspecting young couple, George (Ryan Reynolds, Blade: Trinity, The In-Laws) and Kathy Lutz (Melissa George, TV's Alias), and their children move into the house that was the site of the horrific event and is now haunted by a murderous presence. What follows is 28 days of unimaginable terror. With demonic visions of the dead and relentless screams of terror, this is the haunted house story that isn't just a movie - it's real.

My Take:

I was a freshman in high school when the original The Amityville horror 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 both the film and story. This 2005 film is a re-imaging with a differing spin and updated special effects. I didn't see it theatrically but can remember seeing the trailer on TV and thinking that it looked pretty creepy. Here the script goes deeper into the background on the house and focuses more on its effect on George and the obvious presence of entities dwelling within. Here Jody, the invisible/evil playmate to the Lutz' young daughter in the original film is replaced by the ghost of Jody DeFeo the youngest member of family slain in the house. She is portrayed in a less sinister and more visible fashion and is seen as more of a sympathetic character that is trapped in the house at the whim of the evil Ketcham, the manic responsible for the torture and death of twenty Indians centuries earlier in the lower catacombs beneath the house. Whereas the first film was more of an involving character driven affair that inexplicably pitted the house against the Lutz's, this film specifies the villain and relies more on stereotypical jump scares in an attempt to engage the audience. What I like about the original is that it allows your imagination to derive what it will, from the scary/creepy elements that you DON'T see which slowly build to a cumulative effect that eventually send the Lutz's fleeing. Here the pervasive use of frightening images continuously raises the question as to why anyone would have stayed in the house for nearly a month. As a genre piece it works as well as the original but in an ordinary and formulaic way.

I am not an authority on the Amityville Horror subject but I can say with absolute certainty that Ronald Defeo murdered his parents and four siblings in the house in 1974, and that 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. This film is based upon the original movie/book by Jay Anson and is entertaining but doesn't hold quite the same creep factor as the original. It moves along nicely and I enjoyed the performances by the cast. There are many online websites that discuss the story of the house 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 violence, disturbing images, language, brief sensuality and drug use.

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: 86

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 84

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

The Amityville Horror (2005) comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.

This film offers a pretty even balance between the use of dark and light elements. I am happy with the way both looked as the dark segments have discerning depth with appreciable shadows delineation and solid blacks. The brighter segments are punchy with crisp, dynamic whites and notable object detail. Colors aren't eye popping but they are naturally rendered and don't appear muted or flat. Images exhibit above average detail that on occasion rose to a higher level that made close ups very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and visible texture. Other than some minor edge enhancement I didn't observe any video related artifacts worthy of note.

Films like this rely heavily on their soundtracks to help enhance the build up of tension and to augment the intensity of jump scares. This is done primarily through the use of music and sound effects that correspond with what is occurring onscreen. I found that this DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix from Fox handles this very well through the use of bold dynamics, palpably rich bass extension, and discerning sonic detail that play upon the aural senses. This is a solid encoding of a newer style film that clearly reproduces the elements in the recording which enhances the presence of eerie off camera sounds and emphasize those that are meant to be in your face. The music is coupled along with low frequency effects and effectively punctuates jump scares and frightful moments. Dialogue is well textured with excellent tonal character and estimable room penetration. The surrounds are actively engaged during suspenseful moments and generate an involving sound field that heightens the scary experience. This doesn't apply solely to those segments as there is plenty of atmospheric ambience and directional cues that make things like falling rain, echoing sounds or front to rear panning effects feel enveloping. This is an excellent surround mix that compliments the film and sounds great.

Bonus Features:

  • The Blu-ray Disc only contains a theatrical trailer for The Amityville Horror (2005). The bonus DVD of the film contains the following special features:

  • Audio commentary with Ryan Reynolds and producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller

  • 8 deleted scenes with optional commentary

  • Supernatural homicides - a documentary on the Defeo murders - 17 minutes

  • The source of evil - A 26 minute making of featurette

  • Multi-angle on-set-pee mode - Seamlessly branched segments that play after selected scenes

  • Photo gallery

Final Thoughts:

The Amityville Horror (2005) is a remake of the original film which is based upon the book by Jay Anson. It isn't great cinema but favorably compares to typical genre films and makes for a good rental on video fright night. Fox has done a fine job with its presentation on Blu-ray disc as it offers great audio quality, faithful video reproduction and includes of a bonus DVD of the film which contains a decent set of bonus features.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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233 Posts
File under "yet another pointless remake." Sure, the original was middlin' at best (though damn if that giant red eyed pig in the window didn't freak me out as a wee one!) but at least it's got that old school scare factor aesthetic going for it.

Has Amityville II: The Possession come out on Blu yet?


6,305 Posts

Thanks for the review. I'm in the minority that enjoyed this film, Melissa George is quite the modern day scream queen it would seem... Amityville, Turistas, Triangle, 30 Days of Night... and it was refreshing to see Reynolds in something other than a comedy. As far as scares they were cheap and the original was better but I did enjoy the flash backs to the torture room and the overall performances of both Reynolds and George.

1,455 Posts

Originally Posted by General Kenobi /forum/post/19222665


Thanks for the review. I'm in the minority that enjoyed this film, Melissa George is quite the modern day scream queen it would seem... Amityville, Turistas, Triangle, 30 Days of Night... and it was refreshing to see Reynolds in something other than a comedy. As far as scares they were cheap and the original was better but I did enjoy the flash backs to the torture room and the overall performances of both Reynolds and George.

I'm right there with you - at least I enjoyed it the first time; I haven't checked to see if it holds up to repeat viewings, but with the BD dropping to $10, I'm going to find out.

3,652 Posts
The original and this version are excellent. This one is IMO, scarier. LOVED it. Ryan Reynolds surprised me. He's usually known for slap stick, stupid comedies. But, he did a great job here. I was impressed. The bass is pretty good too.
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