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My Amityville Horror

Arguably better than most of the sequels (and definitely the remake).

Rod Lott August 7th, 2013

Daniel Lutz doesn't like people to know he's one of the children who lived through The Amityville Horror — as Jay Anson's best-selling book and subsequent smash movie called it — and yet here he is, front and center for an entire documentary on that "unfortunate gift." Be glad he gave in; My Amityville Horror is an occasionally gripping portrait of a middle-aged man still coming to terms with a terrible childhood.


Now a father himself of two teenagers, Lutz — a dead ringer for actor Michael Chiklis (Parker) — recounts what he, his siblings, his mom and his wretched stepfather went through in the Long Island home at 112 Ocean Ave., reportedly haunted because of the six murders that occurred there.

Whether speaking to a psychiatrist, to director Eric Walter or to us, Lutz is just beginning to articulate what he still doesn't understand. Not everything he says makes complete sense, but it's clear he buys in to the story that's been a cultural phenomenon for nearly four decades. He also drops bombshells not included in the book or movies: that Daniel found himself possessed, that he was beat up by a priest, that he witnessed his stepfather demonstrating telekinetic powers.

Experts on both sides of the issue — hoax and truth — contribute their opinions as well, including Lorraine Warren (the basis for the current horror hit The Conjuring), who speaks while her identical twin roosters cock-a-doodle-doo in the background.

My Amityville Horror offers no definitive answers — how could it? — but the questions it raises, both old and new, hold undeniable interest. Draw your own conclusions; you're apt to loan the documentary your attention regardless. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Parker Blu-ray review    
The Real Story: The Amityville Horror DVD review  

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