The Amityville Horror (1979) starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, Murray Hamilton, John Larch, Helen Shaver directed by Stuart Rosenberg Movie Review

The Amityville Horror (1979)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Margot Kidder and James Brolin in The Amityville Horror (1979)

Brolin's Boiling Over

recently married George (James Brolin - Capricorn One) and Kathy Lutz (Margot Kidder - Superman) along with their three children move in. But within days of them moving in strange things start to happen as George begins to feel ill, the toilets out of nowhere spew up black sludge and when Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) arrives to bless the home an evil spirit orders him to leave. The occurrences get increasingly frequent as doors are blown of their hinges and windows slam shut on fingers till enough is enough and the Lutz's can't take it anymore.

I guess it is true what they say, as you get older the mind starts to play tricks on you or at least that is the only way I can account for how I feel having watched "The Amityville Horror". Now I had watched "The Amityville Horror" once before as a teen back in the 80s and I had memories of this movie giving me the heebie-jeebies but as I started to watch it again expecting to have the same sensation I unexpectedly found myself bored. Oh it culminates with some horror but before that it all seems all over the place and frankly not that scary.

Rod Steiger in The Amityville Horror (1979)

So what is wrong with "The Amityville Horror"? Well to put it simply it is all over the place, throwing what seem typical horror elements at us but never doing anything with them. Take the scene where all of sudden they find black gloop over flowing from the toilets, we see it and then it is forgotten about. There are other moments as well which are text book horror including a red eyed pig accompanied by some scary music but they are all isolated incidents which never connect to create a flowing story.

It is a shame as "The Amityville Horror" most definitely has elements which are unsettling starting with the change in character of George as the house makes him ill to the point he looks like he could turn psychotic at any moment. There is also the whole connection to Father Delaney which gives us the memorable scene where he finds himself locked in a room which is filling with flies. But again it all seems so disjointed and that makes it become a bit of a hotch potch of horror cliches.

Despite this what "The Amityville Horror" has going for it is one brilliant performance as James Brolin is sensational from start to finish as George, with his wild eyes and short manner he is often more terrifying than half of the intentional scares. It is because Brolin delivers such a fantastic performances that the rest of the cast end up in his shadow with Margot Kidder doing a decent job of playing Kathy but never having the great character to work with.

What this all boils down to is that "The Amityville Horror" is not the horror movie that I remembered to be and in truth was disappointed by what I watched. It does have some good moments and a great performance from James Brolin but for most it is a disjointed movie which leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions.