‘Amityville Horror’ Shocks Audiences

GEGHARD ARAKELIAN
El Vaquero Staff Writer

“The Amityville Horror” delivers nonstop chills and heart-stopping suspense to audiences.

The remake of Stuart Rosenberg’s 1979 “The Amityville Horror” follows a family who purchases an enormous house, sold to the family for a very inexpensive price. There is a catch though, that the new home owners shrug aside. The previous family residing in the home was all murdered by one member who claims to have been told to do so by demonic voices coming from the basement.

“The Amityville Horror” doesn’t waste anytime sucking the viewers into its eerie settings and disturbing storyline. The movie opens with the first person the house’s evil voices have manipulated in 1972: Charlie, played by Jason Padgett, shooting his family in their sleep, including his grade-school siblings. The disturbing content along with the serious tone the movie immediately takes on makes it frightening to watch and entertaining to follow.

Even though this film touches on an unreal scenario, just as any other horror film does, it does so in a mature way. There are no come-back phrases or clever one-liners that are routinely found in horror movies or action films. The serious dialogue this film maintains compliments the film’s horror elements.

The serious approach director Andrew Douglas took with this movie added to its smooth cont-inuity, flow, and breath-taking horror sequences. It’s what kept the audience glued to their seats.

The actors also make “The Amit-yville Horror” entertaining to watch. Ryan Reynolds, playing George Lutz, the second char-acter the evil spirits of the house have their eyes on, suits the character of a young father going mad excellently. Child actor Chloe Moretz, playing Chelsea Lutz, gives viewers the creeps with the advice she shares with her family, given to her by the phantom of a previously murdered little girl.

Now to the best part of the movie: the visual effects. People who frequent horror movies will easily jump from their seats when watching this film. The viewer is shocked by the frightening visual effects in every scene of this movie.

In one part of the film Reynolds is watching a home video of his family moving into the haunted house. While watching his children laugh and wave at the camera, audience members cannot help but gasp when one of Reynolds’ stepchildren’s faces turns into a decaying expression with a grotesque, gaping mouth.

Visual effects supervisor Sean Andrew Fader, along with the rest of the visual effects cast, did a phenomenal job bringing to life hideous phantoms and moving shadows.

At one point audience members gave a scream and turned their heads as a scowling ghost came onto the corner of the screen from nowhere with blood oozing down its mouth.

The film centers its thrilling moments around hallucinations. The trick to these hallucinations is that they occur to almost all the family members and take place with no warning whatsoever.

“The Amityville Horror” does a good job of scaring, and its straightforward storyline does not include annoying, half-naked teens getting butchered in the most tasteless settings like those found in “Scream” or “I Know What you Did Last Summer.” But is it a perfect horror flick?

Unfortunately, the resolution at the end of the movie leaves a lot of room for questions. The film unravels an intricate storyline filled with reasoning as to why people living in the Amityville home fall victim to the persuasive voices of evil spirits.

With the conflict of malicious spirits tormenting Amityville residents, hair-raising hallucinations, and disturbing storyline one would expect this movie to end in a suspensful way.

The least suspenseful part of the film is the ending.

The resolution comes too quickly and it is too simple. The film does not end with a cliffhanger but will have viewers disappointed and desiring a more powerful ending. The hallucinations that take place throughout the entirety of the film were more breathtaking than the last scene of the movie.

“The Amityville Horror” produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller and distributed by MGM is a pure fright-fest including disturbing content mixed in with a serious yet entertaining storyline. The only element of the film that will leave the audience disappointed is the broad ending.

“The Amityville Horror” is rated R and is in theaters everywhere.

Rating: * * * (out of four)