In the 1970s, this supposedly true story of a family that move into a haunted Long Island house was a huge best-seller. Shows like "That's Incredible!" covered the mysterious goings on in the supposedly haunted house and the real-life family who co-wrote the non-fiction (yeah, right) book with Jay Anson became rich. Whether or not the house really was haunted, the story spawned one of the worst horror film franchises of all time, second only to the "Leprechaun" series in terms of overall lameness. The first film in the series also has the distinction of being one of the dullest big-budget horror flicks of the modern age. Sure, major Hollywood studios have cranked out major studio crap in the past—including "The Sentinel" and "Manitou."
But at least those films had enough gore, sex and campiness to hold one's interest. This film is as dull as a Julia Roberts movie. Kidder and Brolin play the new owners of the evil house where just a few years earlier a young man killed his entire family. Strange things start to happen and finally the family realizes that the house's basement is really a doorway to hell! Rod Steiger has a role as the town priest who comes to bless the house and finds himself overwhelmed by flies and a voice that says, "Get out!" In real life, the people who moved into the house after all these incidents really occurred said it wasn't haunted. They eventually moved out because they couldn't stand all the publicity. This film is weak, not nearly as scary as other haunted house flicks, including "Burnt Offerings" and "The Legend of Hell House," and is ultimately about as missable as you can get.
But the first sequel, "Amityville II: The Possession," was much better.
This has to be one of the lamest horror movie franchises. Out of all the Amityville Horrors, there's not a single good movie, not even the original. The book is also quite overrated and boring. If you see the word "Amityville" on something, just pass.
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