By: Jim K.
and I still own those tapes which is so cool. Useless, but cool. It's a fun film with cheesy moments. The woman when she examines the photos in the darkroom and then the burning car scenes used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. The ending, which at the time seemed like a good idea, was ridiculous and really affects every single sequel to follow (we'll get there). 7/10.
sends it as a present to her sister and it proceeds to wreak havoc. Another nostalgia one for me. Saw it when it premiered back in the day. It's a bad movie 100%, but I had fun with this watch. some of the scenes are just hilarious - the kid with the chainsaw that takes out the basement; the young kid who has an encounter with the garbage disposal; the plumber dude who meets up with something in the drain and so on. I was having a good time. I guess they went this route because of the success of Friday the 13th, the Series at that time, which used cursed objects as the series' premise. In that case, it worked well and that was a good TV series Problem here is that the lamp just isn't scary. If this was direct-to-video and had more gore, they might have made it work. Ok for what it is. 4.5/10.
the neighbourhood of the infamous house and the house was subsequently torn down - love the continuity change there. Anyway, the dude returns with a clock from the house and then things take a turn for the worst. The one had poor acting, especially Leonard the boyfriend, who's just over-the-top. The storyline gets really silly and the ending just left me saying: "what?!". After "Curse" tried to go to a different direction, they returned to the cursed objects from the house plotline and it just doesn't work. 3.5/10.
just end up being just modern version copycats. The other big question is do films need to be remade? In this case I believe no and, as I said earlier, felt it was unnecessary and that's why I probably didn't love it. 7/10.
The Amityville Haunting (2011) - Another direct-to-video film and found footage has found its way into this series. Yet another couple move into the infamous house which has apparently changed appearances again. Their young son has a video camera on hand to capture everything of course, Right away, people are mysteriously dropping dead left and right and it doesn't seem to faze this family. Other strange things start happening that the son captures on his camera and yet no one believes him. Sigh. What can I say other than this is a pretty suck-ass film. The acting is so terrible and especially the father who's just an utter dick and waaaaaay over the top, especially with his military shit. if my son recorded some weird happenings, I would definitely view the video to see why he's so insistent. Of course, these idiots don't even bother and quickly dismiss him. There's so many things in this film which boggle my mind and many times I found myself saying: "come on":. Yes, it's one of those films. Btw, the film's supposed to be set in 2008 and yet they're using an iPhone 4 which wasn't released until 2010. In the open credits they even screwed up the Lutz's time in the house - 28 days, not two years - anyone on the production could've Googled that. Come on guys. This ranks up there as one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I thought nothing could compare to some of the Witchcraft films I saw last year. But, of course, I was wrong and the best part is that there are more to come. Ugh. 0.75/10,
it and got fed up with the place and sold the house and land to the owner of the asylum who's some creepy foreign guy. She then starts experiencing strange sightings and events, which coworkers dismiss as nervousness for the new job and the place itself. It
then goes down hill from there. This film is really low budget - like school project low budget. The acting is just terrible. The main girl is so stiff and couldn't deliver a smooth line to save her life. Her friend was just brutal. When you can't even pronounce the name of the village you've grown up in, that's a problem. Ameeteeville. Are you f'in kidding me? No one on the set couldn't say to her: "hey, you might want to say it this way" ...umm the correct flippin way. The doctor was ok in his role, but the story just
takes an outlandish turn. I did like the fact that it went dark and had a downer of an ending, but the movie was long ruined by that point. It's silly, pointless, drags on and the continuity change with the house is laughable and hard to keep track of. 2/10.
that the house, which is haunted, starts possessing the occupants and it leads them to kill each other off in order to satisfy a witch's thirst for revenge on the descendants who took her out centuries before. What can I say? Bad acting, bad CG, bad makeup effects and to top it off, they have Eric Roberts, or rather his voice, make an appearance. The story's a mess with too many plot holes. And to think I paid for the DVD. Why? Because of the name Amityville in the title. Lol. 1/10.
As I continue to review this series, It's always interesting to do research on some of the background information. The question of sequels and the name itself keeps coming up, so I decided to look into it and find out what's exactly up with the whole naming thing.
The Lutz's and the author of the book, Jay Anson, co-own the rights to the name "The Amityville Horror". This is why we don't have any more films with that exact title. They granted the naming rights to Professional Films, Inc. for the purposes of making the first film. When Orion Pictures and producer Dino De Laurentiis made Amityville II: The Possession and Amityville 3D, the Lutz's and Anson took them to court. Ultimately, the Lutz's and Anson lost the case, mainly because Orion and De Laurentiis didn't use "The Amityville Horror II and III" as titles which would've been a copyright infringement and also even in their promotional material for the second film stated clearly that "this is not a sequel to The Amityville Horror". The secondary name "Amityville" was not exclusive to the Lutz's and Anson and thus not protected and this is why all these "sequel" films have the title "Amityville" in them. The only protection that remains is the name "The Amityville Horror", references to the Lutz's, so we could never have their names appear in any subsequent films, stating that any future Amityville films are a direct sequel to the first film and the numerical sequel - i.e. The Amityville Horror II, III, etc.
As a matter of fact, the court decision stated that anyone, including Orion and De Laurentiis, could make more "horror pictures" about fictional events set in the Amityville house or about real events set in the Amityville house before the Lutz's moved in, but they could not be identified or promoted as sequels to the first picture. So, technically, all of the films after the first one are not sequels - they are just relatives. Lol.
Basically, according to copyright laws, film companies own the rights to their films and franchises, but not their titles or names (there are a few exceptions).
Because of this decision from the courts, we now have every Tom, Dick and Harry whipping out a camera and rolling out Amityville films like crazy. So the hope of also having proper numerical titles will never happen or having a direct sequel to the first film. It would've been cool to have a film sequel looking into what happened to the Lutz's after they left the house a la Poltergeist II and III - maybe under the Montelli family name.
So, after getting a gut punch finding out that there isn't an official Amityville franchise,
I thought to myself: "should I bother continue reviewing the films or quit? ....naaaaah - of course I'm going to continue. I'm already neck deep in it.
kiddies. You have been forewarned - do not watch this garbage. This one needs to be buried and never seen or heard from again. If I could give a negative rating, I absolutely would. Having said all this, I loved it. 0/10.
on his killing spree and there's a weird toy monkey there (the creepy one with the cymbals in its hands). Flash forward 40 years later and there's a family reunion/birthday for dad, Mark, and one of his daughters gifts him a toy monkey that, of course, came
from the Amityville house and we don't know how she managed to acquired it. Mark then becomes possessed (presumably by the monkey) and we get a complete slaughter fest that follows. Once again, ultra-low budget and has actors that were picked up from the side of the road, although the grandmother was cheesy and hilarious. The backstory of the monkey and how it got possessed and how it possesses Mark isn't told. Why are we going there again with the cursed objects? This is a pretty quick watch at under an hour, with about 6 mins of end credits that crawl ever so slowly. I usually let the credits play at the end of films, but these were painfully slow. The story's pretty basic, the dialogue is cringe worthy and a lot of it is ad-libbed. No one's likable and the ending's just about as abrupt as you could imagine and leaves a silly cliffhanger of sorts. Apparently, there's supposed to be a sequel to this which is in development. Why? Why would a film like this need a sequel? The thing that really gets me about this film are the technical blunders. The sound's poor, mainly because it's only recorded from the camera. There are several scenes where the camera blurs and goes out of focus. There are also other scenes where there's something on the lens. Couldn't the cameraman notice this and wipe the flippin lens? Seriously? The backstory scene at the beginning was filmed with a red filter and is just an joke. The filter may have blown the budget on this. I had this rated a bit higher the last time I saw this, but with a critical eye and being sober, they're just too many glaring problems. 1.5/10 because it's slightly better than Playhouse.
(they don't actually specify that - we just assume it), she was told by her therapist to record herself to get over the loneliness. It starts off light and ho hum, then strange things start happening that are captured on the recordings. It cuts back and forth between the storylines and eventually they are linked, but that makes no sense whatsoever and the ending is just ridiculous. This was a better entry for the second half of the series of films, but it's still not great. The premise is silly and the acting is poor. The effects are bad and there really isn't much going on. I preferred the woman's storyline, but even that had a lot of filler. 4/10.
Bad cheesy effects and Sickle looked laughable. The plotline's silly and pretty outrageous and they made no attempt whatsoever to tie in Amityville - not even a passing reference. Good luck 22shots - there's lots of goodness that awaits you in reviewing this series. Not! 1/10.
The Amityville Murders - This one seems the most legit and scheduled to be released in 2018. Directed by Daniel Farrands, who brought us Never Sleep Again, His Name Was Jason and Crystal Lake Memories. From what I read, this looks like a remake of Part II.
Amityville: Evil Never Dies - This is the sequel to The Amityville Legacy from 2016 and features a cameo from Marc Patton (Nightmare 2). Apparently, this one's been completed and a distribution deal's being worked out with Wild Eye Releasing. There was a limited edition VHS tape that was being sold, but I couldn't acquire it.
Amityville Cop - I guess this is a take on Maniac Cop. A renegade cop pursues a possessed criminal - I guess caused by the house.
Amityville Legacy 3-D - This one will centre on a family, suffering from a terrible tragedy and the entity from the Amityville house pays them a visit. The first 3D Amityville since part 3. Hannibal Classics were attached to this one since 2012.
Amityville High - Yup. A teenager moves to Amityville and discovers an accomplice to the 1974 DeFeo killings. Of course, all of the cops and detectives then and now couldn't find any evidence of that except this teenager?
Amityville Arcade - You heard right - a haunted arcade cabinet from the house. Didn't even know the Lutz's owned one. Someone buys it and gets sucked into a deadly game where it's life or death. I like the cover though.
So, potentially six more Amityville films coming down the pipe that could bring the total to twenty six - unbelievable. As you can see, lots of fun's heading our way. Will I check them out? Of course - it's the completest in me. Lol.
Just when you think it's over, two more announcements come down the pipe:
Amityville: The Beginning - This will be the "true" sequel to the original. Better than the best film in the series? We'll see about that one.
Return to Amityville - A reporter goes to Amityville and makes a discovery that puts his life in danger. When isn't your life in danger in that town?
That brings the total to eight more potential Amityville films and bringing the total to a possible twenty-eight in the series.
Just mind boggling.
Time to wrap-up the Amityville series' review with some final thoughts, rankings and ratings.
We know this isn't a true franchise, so anything reviewed after the first one is completely optional. A lot of cash-ins and a lot of bad, bad films but it was fun though. I personally would go with the "original" eight, remake and Awakening. You have to be in a certain frame of mind to stomach the rest. Lol. I followed the same thing that I did with the Witchcraft franchise to get through them - just watch them and don't think about how bad they are until review time. If I'm being honest, I actually preferred the Witchcraft franchise, although Amityville averages slightly better overall, because other than two films, the rest had a direct continuity which makes such a big difference in a franchise and overall enjoyment (producers take note!).
This one starts with a flashback of the ending of The Amityville Legacy. We then have a couple, Ben and Michelle, who go into Jesse's Junk Drawer Antique Shop where the husband comes across a creepy toy monkey. He decides to buy it because it reminds him of a similar one he had when he was a kid, despite his wife being hesitant. They bring it home and the wife begins experiencing strange occurrences almost right away such as banging noises coming from the attic. Ben dismisses the noises as rats, but when Michelle calls an exterminator, she's told that there's no sign of any rodent or other pest activity. The husband falls under the influence of the monkey and his personality changes drastically. He hires a prostitute and presumably kills and rapes her. He even attacks his own wife - beats her and has forcible sex with her. After having enough, Michelle suspects the monkey's causing all the problems and goes on an investigation and discovers that the monkey came from the Amityville house (another cursed object) and was the same one bought by the daughter of Mark Jensen from The Amityville Legacy, where Mark went on his rampage and killed his family, except the daughter, who's now in an asylum. Michelle now has to get rid of the monkey and save herself from a similar fate that the Jensen's had. Obviously, micro low budget like The Amityville Legacy. It's another quick watch at just over an hour, which includes two different flashbacks and end credits that were 5-6 minutes at least. There's basically the two main characters and 3 brief cameos, including Mark Patton, who was the shop owner. Unfortunately, he looked very tired and sick. This film probably would've worked better as a short than a feature length film. Directed Dustin Ferguson had a decent idea for the followup, but I feel he should've developed the script much more. He probably should've expanded the family to include some kids and focus on the strange occurrences at the house, but again, budget probably nixed that. The ending was super abrupt and came so suddenly, you could've missed it if you weren't paying attention. Director Ferguson tends to expand scenes which have no bearing on the film, presumably as filler to extend the playing time. If you see the film and watch the monkey sequence at the beginning, you'll know exactly what I mean. There was some potential here, but it never panned out. I liked the first film more and rated that a 1.5/10, so I'll rate this one a 1/10.
*UPDATE #2* *2019*
The Amityville Murders (2018) - This is a remake of Amityville II: The Possession. It's the story of the DeFeos, who were given the house on Ocean Avenue by Louise DeFeo's parents. Strange things start to happen and are witnessed by Louise (the mother), Dawn (the eldest daughter) and Butch (the eldest son). The two siblings aren't helping matters by performing rituals and conjuring stuff up in the red room in the basement. Eventually, the presence takes control of Butch and you know what follows...
This is the 22nd Amityville film that I've reviewed and it seems like there's no end to this series. This one's directed by Daniel Farrands of the super franchise docs of recent time (Never Sleep Again and Crystal Lake Memories). He stated in an interview that Amityville II is his favourite film of the series (as is for most people), so it's no wonder that he wanted to be connected to this one. He also stated that he wanted to focus on the human element - mental illness and madness. The acting was good, especially Robinson as Butch - he had to be, as he was the main focus. I didn't realize that the actor playing Louise was one of the daughters in Amityville II, which is pretty cool and there was also a nice cameo by Burt Young also from that film. This interpretation of the prequel was okay, as it closely followed the court transcripts of DeFeo's trial, but the film was kind of slow in parts. My biggest question is: why would you bother to remake arguably to best film of the entire franchise? It was way better than a lot of the turds in this franchise. It wasn't a great film, but above average. I personally prefer the original film and the possession angle. Upper third ranking in the franchise for me. 6.5/10.
This is the 23rd Amityville film that I've reviewed. Every once in a while I do some digging and seem to uncover yet another entry. There are several things that derail this entry. The main one is the fact that they used the "Amityville Prison" title. You quickly assume that this will be set in Amityville - someone connected to the infamous house is haunting the prison (even the film poster goes down that path). The problem is that one of the guys in the group of friends, Nick, very early on reveals that the prison's in Philly. If you want to exploit the Amityville name, why wouldn't you just edit that part out and leave it ambiguous? Probably the budget prevented this and adding the "Amityville" title was an afterthought to cash in.
The acting's pretty laughable. It seems like a lot of the dialogue is off the cuff. The character's decision-making are ridiculous and their reactions to what's going on are pretty pathetic. How are we supposed to buy in if the actors aren't bought in? Although the setting of the prison was a good choice, Director Brian Cavallaro didn't use it to create an atmospheric setting. The camerawork and lighting were horrible - it was way too dark and the quick cuts were awful. The breathing dead bodies were another one having me laughing a bunch of times. The ending was a joke and just looked brutal - you have to see it for yourself to understand. Any chance the film had to somehow tie-in Amityville was killed off by this ending. The film started off decent enough, but fell off the cliff in a hurry. At a running time of 85 minutes, the film really seemed to drag along. This film offered very little in terms of any explanation to what was going on and what it did present was completely full of plotholes. Another cash-in, another turd entry, but this has a slightly better smell than some of the other crap in the Amityville heap. Lol. 2/10.
This is Amityville film number 24 for me. The only true terror was deciding to spend the money and watch this. At 75 minutes, this one takes its time, and I mean, takes it time - to play out. The opening credits sequence alone slugged by, along with many other shots. It's always funny when you see the various production crew listed as the same two people over and over. The acting was horrible. Charlie was sort of normal, but Buzi was just atrocious. We don't really see anything except Buzi filming herself screaming "CHARLIE! CHARLIE!" for about 20 minutes. The sound design, if you can call it that, is really bad and Charlie is a musician for goodness' sake. The ending was a complete joke. One online reviewer said it best when he described the film as one made by these people for themselves like a home movie. The most obvious question here is: what's the "Amityville connection"? Did you really expect one - the film takes place in the same state - if that counts. Really, really piss poor. Great film though. 1/10.
*Update #3* *2020*
The Dawn, aka The Amityville Dawn (2020) - It's the early 1800s and a young girl, Rose, witnesses her father kill her mother and siblings. She survives and is later sent to a convent. Fast forward years later and Rose has now grown and is a novitiate. She hasn't taken her final vows as she's struggling with what her father did and is also having nightmares and hearing voices and visions. Will she be able to let go of the past, or will it come back to haunt her?
This is my 26th Amityville film reviewed and this was actually a decent watch and entertaining. This was the most subtle Amityville film ever and doesn't actually reveal itself until the very end. It's an Amityville origin story with an actual budget and the results are a much better film than what I'm used to experiencing watching this series. The performances were okay and it has a bit of The Nun (Conjuring) vibe to it. It's a bit dull in parts and some of the CGI's the crap we all hate. There are also some confusing elements, which can lose you if you're only half paying attention. Admittedly, the Amityville tie-in was weak, but not horrible as some of the other sequels never even attempted a proper tie-in. Overall, it's an okay watch and a much better latter sequel to this series. 6.5/10.
Amityville Vibrator (2020) - Cathy moves into a house which was the scene of a series of brutal murders years before. One day, she and her friend go to a yard sale and some weird dude gifts her a used vibrator of all things. Soon after, Cathy begins to fall under the influence of the possessed appliance and death follows...
Oh boy, what did I watch? This is my 27th Amityville film reviewed and this was one of the most bizarre entries that I have seen. It’s borderline porn (as the title suggests), but I can only describe it as sort of a horror comedy with porn elements added. Lol. It’s super, super sleazy. The hand-drawn opening credits were kind of cool and the DVD cover was homemade. It completely ripped off elements of The Amityville Horror and there were some stupid funny moments and callbacks to other Amityville films. I did like some of the effects and gore, but the premise and story are completely ridiculous and made little sense. The acting was bad and I honestly wished the women here would’ve kept their clothes on. There was A LOT of needless filler scenes, even though the film had a short run time and these added nothing to the story. The funniest and most ironic line said in the film was when Cathy’s friend mentioned that “Vanishing Point was one of the good ones”. Because of some of the things I’ve mentioned, Vanishing Point will keep its coveted spot and this one is just slightly better, but not by much. 0.5/10.
This is my 28th Amityville film reviewed and this one definitely takes quite a different direction for the series. The connection here is the fact that it takes place in Amityville. This is a bad film, but compared to a lot of the other films in this series, it’s actually not terrible. It’s a mix of Harry Potter and the cougar version of The Craft. There’s the obvious plotholes such as Jessica being so quick to accept an anonymous invitation without doing any homework and not really questioning anything that’s going on. The performances weren’t great, but the witches were fun characters and especially Dominique. The effects were cheesy and the battle scenes were not very exciting. The final battle was quick and abrupt and the ending sort of setup for a potential sequel. When you’ve seen as many bad Amityville films as I have, once in a while you come across one that’s watchable and sort of fun and that’s pretty refreshing for this series. 4.5/10.
This is my 29th Amityville film reviewed and this one took a bizarre route being a vampire film (not a spoiler - it’s blatantly obvious), which no other film in this series had explored before. I’m surprised that Lionsgate and Grindhouse decided to distribute this film. This is another film that had an Amityville connection thrown in just to cash in. If you’re a fan of low budget films, you’ll probably recognize some of the actors here. The performances ranged from okay to bad. The CGI effects were pretty terrible. There are plenty of plotholes which go unexplained, such as the crazy doctor in the basement. As an Amityville film, this one’s ridiculous. As a stand-alone film, it had some potential and with a bit of a budget and a better script it could have been an unspectacular, but decent film. 3.5/10.
*Amityville Re-issue Update*
In the case of Amityville Toybox, the film’s exactly the same, except in the place where the original film ends. This version added an eight or so minute scene. Honestly, the scene didn’t make much sense and also didn’t add anything to the film (good or bad). Therefore, my rating was not affected by this change.
For Amityville Clownhouse, they added a new pre-credit scene that had nothing to do with the rest of the film. You can tell that it was made by different filmmakers as well. Again, it added nothing and didn’t affect my previous rating.
I really don’t understand the purpose of these changes/additions, but I believe these changes were made either to simply pad the running times (both films were originally fairly short) or to use the scenes to setup for the third film of the trilogy, which is set to be filmed and released next year. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it will all play out. Judging by these films (original/new versions), I’m not holding out much hope.
This is sort of a milestone being the 30th Amityville film I’ve reviewed and this one joins the list of others having no connection to Amityville whatsoever. I really wish they would stop with the cash-in thing and, at least, add some reference to Amityville. The DVD cover was a complete lie and I found it strange that the film’s title didn’t match with the DVD cover, although I later found out that there was a last minute title change, dropping the “An” and they probably had already wrapped up and couldn’t edit the title in the film.
Poor writing really hurt the film as plot points were never fully flushed out, others thrown in which were unnecessary and this all caused things not to make much sense. This one had a strange reference to “The Ring” and It’s supposed to be a poltergeist, but those type of spirits make noises and move objects around and physically touch people, not just appear walking around. Maybe the research department missed these minor points.
The film was not short at an hour and a half and moved along really slowly. Jim’s two friends were the stereotypical stoners, which is so overplayed. The lead really brought things down as he was just bland, boring and had no personality whatsoever. It takes you out of the film because you just can’t root for this guy or take him seriously. The ending was just as bland as the rest of the film and, at this point, you’ve lost all interest and just don’t care. Overall, this certainly wasn’t on the top of the list or amongst the worst and sits somewhere in the middle of this series. 2.5/10.
Amityville Vampire (2021) - People visiting Red Moon Lake fall prey to a vampire...
This is the 32nd Amityville film I’ve reviewed. I had previously reviewed and rated the documentary “My Amityville Horror”, but I noticed that I had not added it to the overall rankings and I’ve corrected that moving forward. Right off the bat, I will say that the filmmakers at least tried to show something Amityville related at the beginning of this film. They had a stock image of the actual house and the opening scene supposedly takes place there. However, what ends up happening is both hilarious and ridiculous and that’s where any type of Amityville tie-in ends. The rest of the film’s a mishmash of anthology-type flashbacks and parallel stories. The main storyline drags on and just ends pretty abruptly with no attempt at a satisfying conclusion. The acting was pretty bad and the character’s decision-making was almost infuriating. There were a lot of technical issues with this film, including really strange and bad audio. My favorite technical issue was in the scene where a couple’s driving and the green screen image made it look like they were driving sideways. Lol. The film at least tried to be unique and is a little better than some of the other films of this series, but not by much. 2/10.
This is the 33rd Amityville film reviewed and definitely the most talky of any of these films. There’s a lot of exposition here and, while I don’t mind dialogue, it overtakes the film. Nothing really happens beyond the never-ending dialogue and this causes the film to just drag on. The acting was weak, especially the lead. The ending goes into the “Paranormal Activity” arena, but by this point it was way too late as you didn’t have a chance to invest in the film. This film isn’t the worst, but is just another forgettable entry in this series. 2.5/10.
This is the 34th Amityville film reviewed and, as usual, I go into it with pretty low expectations. However, this one became a pleasant surprise. For once, you see a decent opening scene, a backstory with actual character development and, not only a tie-in to Amityville, but they took the time to give the history of the murders and of the property. This film does, of course have plot issues, such as altering the details of the murders and the most glaring being the setting, which should take place in the US, but the property has nothing but old English right-side drive vehicles. For an English low-budget film, it was competently shot and the performances were okay. Overall, I really enjoyed the watch and, like I always say, it doesn’t take much effort to construct a decent film from the story, the mythology of the infamous house and the families that lived there and make something respectable. 6/10.
This is the 35th Amityville film I’ve reviewed and we introduce a werewolf to this series. Yet another film that doesn’t connect Amityville and they could’ve at least included a passing reference that the halfway house is located in Amityville, but I guess the filmmakers didn’t think it was important enough. This film is 90 minutes and is a real chore to get through because it moves at such a glacial pace. The acting’s bad and some of the performances were really bad. The opening scene was complete filler and had no place in the film and didn’t need to be included. The werewolf costume was alright and I did like the reveal, although it was predictable. The ending also was abrupt and uneventful. Once again, not the worst of the series, but still just another bad entry. 2/10.
This is the 36th Amityville film reviewed and this one was released exclusively by Tubi as part of their October Halloween lineup. It features a lot of stock footage and interviews, as well as interviews from current paranormal investigators. This was an alright documentary, but didn’t really have a lot of new information to reveal. I thought it was interesting, and not surprising, that all of the paranormal investigators more or less defended the Lutz’s story, even though their family lawyer had long admitted that it was all made up over a few bottles of wine one night. It also featured one of the reporters from the original Warren and subsequent investigations. It also focused on Ronnie DeFeo, who changed his version of events multiple times and, in the end, incriminated his sister as the perpetrator. Overall, it was well produced and researched and is a watch for anyone interested in the murders, investigations and the house. 7/10.
This is the 37th Amityville film reviewed and this one’s basically a poor man’s version of “Maniac Cop”. I have to say that the movie cover was a direct ripoff, but still looked pretty cool. This was another Amityville film with no Amityville comnection whatsoever. I mean, they could’ve just had an officer who was on-scene at the DeFeo murders and somehow became influenced by the house but unfortunately, it’s just another cash-in. The film had the usual technical issues, bad acting and bad kills. The budget was so low that it had the usual fake police uniforms and even the precinct was a rented office space. They even used the pandemic excuse to limit the attendees at the Police Chief’s New Year’s Eve party so they wouldn’t have to pay extras. I will say that this was an entertaining film. The characters were fun and there were a lot of jokes thrown around and laughs along the way. Once again, it’s a bit better compared to some of the other films of this series, but it’s still a bad film. 3/10.
This is the 38th Amityville film reviewed and the trend of crappy films continues. Ferguson, now known as Dark Infinity, directs his third film of this series. I thought that possessed lumber was bad, but now we have possessed weed which you might need to smoke in order to get through this film. I mean, you have 12 minutes of opening and end credits, about 10-15 minutes of clips from Ferguson’s Amityville Legacy (Toybox), lots of scenic driving shots and a prostitution negotiation that last another 10 or so minutes, which leaves you with barely a half hour of “new material”. The only good thing here is that there’s somewhat of a connection to Amityville and the house, which is rare. However, everything else is just garbage. The plot, the acting, the editing, the effects, on and on. The ending was just abrupt as well. The Amityville rap needs to be heard to be believed. Overall, an interesting concept, but just really poor effort and execution. 1/10.
This is the 39th Amityville film and this one’s directed by Churchill, who returns for his third film of this series. This is yet another film that had an interesting premise, but the execution just isn’t there. The performances were bad and the Asian ticket lady has to be one of the most annoying characters ever. I mean, she makes Rhodes look tame. The effects were pretty bad and the sets were hilarious. The ending was also abrupt and very unsatisfying. There was a bit of potential, but the low budget made sure to kill that. 2/10.
I heard about this trilogy quite a while ago and I was intrigued because it was almost six hours of documenting the DeFeo murders, the investigateion, the trial and the aftermath with the Lutz family, the books and films. There was no way to see these, except for purchasing the DVDs on the writer/director’s website. Unfortunately, the third film wasn’t even available and I never received the order I placed and my followup messages went unanswered, so I ended up canceling. I decided not to bother because the filmmaker was making it difficult if not impossible to obtain these films. Recently, the director posted the films on his YouTube channel and I was finally able to view them. So, let’s begin and see if it was worth the wait...
This was the 40th Amityville film reviewed and this opening film of the documentary trilogy was a disappointment. It didn’t really introduce anything new that hasn’t already been documented. The first big problem was pushing the viewer to believe the various conspiracy theories. I understand trying to present the many that exist in a documentary, but to use them to sensationalize the story is just not right. The other problem was that most of the documentary relied on the testimony of Geraldine Gates, who claimed that she was married to Ronnie at the time of the murders and also had a daughter with him. Gates has been found to be a chronic liar and this is evidenced in the fact that there’s no record of a marriage or of a daughter. Gates also claims to have married DeFeo in 1989, but was actually married to someone else in another state. I can’t imagine director Katzenbach not researching this prior to interviewing her, but he ended up basing most of the first part on her version of events. This is where it lost credibility for me and I couldn’t take it seriously after that. Overall, a weak start and just cheaply exploitative. 4.5/10.
This second film was a small improvement from the first film. It focused on some more conspiracies, such as mob involvement in the murders and we even have more of Geraldine Gates’s version of events. I did like the investigation portion and the trial. The problem for me continues to be Katzenbach’s decision to sensationalize the events and re-enacting things that didn’t even happen instead of focusing on the facts. To someone who knows very little about the murders, they would definitely be captivated. However, If you’ve done some research on the case, it just comes across as insincere and exploitative. 5.5/10.
This is the 42nd Amityville film reviewed and this one was the best and most interesting of the three films and went into detail about the Lutz’s alleged fraud and the huge amount of media coverage that followed. Director Katzenbach even spent some time calling out the Warrens as frauds for claims from their investigation of the house. This one moved at a much better pace and looked into the Lutz’s financial gain from their “true story”. I did like the segment of a reporter’s experience spending the night at the infamous house and the amount of people who were there and all of the different investigations that were taking place. This one, for the most part, strayed from the conspiracy theories and presented mostly what was known. Going into this one was a challenge because of the first two parts, but the completionist in me helped me through it and it turned out be alright. 6.5/10.
The 43rd Amityville film reviewed and this was labeled as the first part or segment 1 of the interview and, according to Katzenbach’s YouTube channel, if the channel reaches 5000 subscribers, he would release the second segment. The interview seemed to tread carefully and it may have been a condition set by Ronnie to appear and not be challenged too much about the murders. He stuck to his story that it was all his sister Dawn’s doing. This first segment doesn’t dive into the night of the murders until the later stages of the interview and left it as a cliffhanger at the end. Most of the interview was spent building up to the murders by Ronnie talking about a bunch of different things - some interesting and others not. The interview overall was okay, but the problem has always been Ronnie s reputation as a liar and constantly changing his story. You basically have to take the interview with a grain of salt. You do get an insight into his mindset, but Katzenbach avoided any real tough questions and just let Ronnie speak and it’s unfortunate that he missed an opportunity to have a really effective, rare interview. 5.5/10.
Time to give my final thoughts on this documentary trilogy of films. As mentioned at the outset, I was interested by the length of this documentary and of the followup interview. Unfortunately, Katzenbach exploited and sensationalized in order to sell DVDs. He relied too much on Geraldine Gate’s theories, which most have been disproved multiple times. Even Ronnie wanted nothing to do with her and sought and was awarded a court order to keep her away. Katzenbach also relied heavily on author Ric Osuna and his book “The Night the DeFeo’s Died”, which had a lot of conspiracies and inaccuracies in it as well. He used actor Ed Asner as narrator, but only sporadically and did most of the narration himself. I don’t know if it was a contractual thing or if Asner’s advanced age and health were a factor. It’s also interesting to note that Asner seemed to narrate all of the established facts and Katzenbach his own theories and that of Osuna’s. He recreated many scenes that were never proven and at one point even said so.
it’s no surprise to me that when Katzenbach had approached Sony to support the production, they soon backed out as they may have noted that it was way out there and not focused solely on the facts of the case. The trilogy’s a big investment of time and I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you’re an Amityville completionist. There was a lot of promise going in, but it ultimately left me unfulfilled overall. Until next time...
Here are the overall rankings and ratings:
Amityville II: The Possession (1982) - 9/10
The Amityville Horror (1979) - 8.5/10
My Amityville Horror (2012) - 7/10
The Amityville Horror (2005) - 7/10
Amityville 3D (1983) - 7/10
The Amityville Awakening (2017) - 7/10
Famously Haunted: Amityville (2021) - 7/10
The Amityville Murders (2018) - 6.5/10
The Amityville Dawn (2020) - 6.5/10
Shattered Hopes: The True Story of the Amityville Murders - Part III (2014) - 6.5/10
Amityville: A New Generation (1993) - 6/10
The Amityville Terror (2016) - 6/10
Amityville Scarecrow (2021) - 6/10
Shattered Hopes: The True Story of the Amityville Murders - Part II (2012) - 5.5/10
75-A-4053: Interviewing Amityville Horror Murderer Ronnie DeFeo JR. (2014) - 5.5/10
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989) - 4.5/10
Witches of Amityville Academy (2020) - 4.5/10
Shattered Hopes: The True Story of the Amityville Murders - Part I (2011) - 4.5/10
Amityville Dollhouse (1996) - 4/10
The Amityville Curse (1990) - 4/10
Amityville: No Escape (2016) - 4/10
Amityville 1992: It's About Time (1992) - 3.5/10
The Amityville Harvest (2020) - 3.5/10
Amityville Cop (2021) - 3/10
An Amityville Poltergeist (2021) - 2.5/10
Amityville Cult (2021) - 2.5/10
Amityville Vampire (2021) - 2/10
Amityville Prison (2017) - 2/10
The Amityville Asylum (2013) - 2/10
The Amityville Moon (2021) - 2/10
Amityville Uprising (2022) - 2/10
The Amityville Exorcism (2017) - 1.5/10
The Amityville Legacy (2016) - 1.5/10
Amityville Death House (2015) - 1/10
The Amityville Playhouse (2015) - 1/10
Amityville Island (2020) -1/10
Amityville: Evil Never Dies (2017) - 1/10
Amityville: The Final Chapter (2017) - 1/10
Amityville in the Hood (2021) - 1/10
Amityville: Mt. Misery Road (2019) - 1/10
The Amityville Haunting (2011) - 0.75/10
Amityville Vibrator (2020) - 0.5/10
Amityville: Vanishing Point (2016) - 0/10
The updated average rating for the series was 3.78/10.