04th Oct2013

Grimmfest 2013 Review: ‘My Amityville Horror’

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Daniel Lutz, Laura DiDio, Neme Alperstein | Directed by Eric Walter

MyAmityvilleHorror-Lutz

For most people, “The Amityville Horror” was just a movie, but for Daniel Lutz, who lived at the infamous house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, it was real life. In 1975, when Daniel was 10, his family lived there for just 28 days before fleeing in terror, the victims of widespread supernatural happenings that pushed them to the brink of madness and had them fearing for their lives. A media circus began that never fully ended.

Up until their recent deaths, his parents George and Kathy Lutz, never went back on a single claim. In the 35 years since the ordeal, Daniel has never spoken on the record about his experiences. This is his story, in his words. For the first time in 35 years, child eyewitness Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975.

And that official synopsis is the most exciting thing about Eric Walter’s My Amityville Horror.

If you’re a horror fan you’re probably well-aware of The Amityville Horror and its subsequent SEVEN sequels… yes, seven. And each and every one of those films – even the less-than-stellar DTV entries in the franchise such as Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes, which sees a lamp possessed by evil and Amityville Dollhouse, which saw a doll-sized replica of 112 Ocean Avenue possessed by demonic forces – is a damn sight more enjoyable than this film.

Adding nothing to the Amityville myth, My Amityville Horror is instead a look at a man who has never moved on from the infamy of that house and that story. It’s also an insight in the mind of a man who has seemingly lost touch with the real world – believing that everything about Amityville was real and still is real, possession, demonic forces and all. Even if some of those stories were clearly the product of the media’s over-imagination.

This documentary doesn’t work because Daniel Lutz is not someone you can empathise with, he’s in no way a likeable man. Instead he comes across arrogant and angry, and sometimes comes across as eager to get his piece of the Amityville pie. Whether that’s down to the man himself or Eric Walter’s “creation” it makes for uncomfortable viewing – n my opinion Lutz should have been the subject of an intervention not a documentary.

Dull, uninspiring and lacking any real factual basis to hang its proverbial hat, My Amityville Horror is yet another disappointing entry into the much-maligned Amityville story…

My Amityville Horror screens today as part of Grimmfest 2013. The film is also set for a DVD release by Arrow Films on October 28th.

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