The Amityville Horror (1979)

Director: Stuart Rosenberg

Writer: Sandor Stern (Screenplay) Jay Anson (Book)

Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, Murray Hamilton, John Larch, Natasha Ryan

 

Plot: Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.


Tagline – The best-selling novel about a haunted house… has become real!

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chilling Horror

 

Story: The Amityville Horror starts one year after the family is massacred in the house, with George (Brolin) and Kathy (Kidder) moving their family Amy, Greg and Matt into the house which is a dream home for the price for the couple. When the priest Father Delaney (Steiger) gets haunted by his visit to the home, it just seems to be the beginning of the horror the family is going to experience.

As the family spends more time in the house, George starts to change in the eyes of Kathy, Father Delaney believes something is wrong in the house, could there be something more to the previous year’s massacre?

 

Thoughts on The Amityville Horror

 

Characters – George Lutz is the husband and step-father to the children, he has always been kind to those children and supportive to his wife. When inside the house he starts to act differently, short tempered and angry towards the family, it looks like he is starting to believe in the evil in the house. Kathy is the one that starts to see the change in her husband, believing there is something going on within the house, she turns to religion for answers who only offer her warnings. Father Delaney gets forced out of the house on his first visit, he gets sick and hears a voice warning him to leave, he struggles to get the church to believe him as he wants to help the family who he believes is in danger.

PerformancesJames Brolin in the leading role goes through the transformation which is both disturbing and haunting, which makes it one of the best in the era of horror. Margot Kidder is great as the wife and mother seeing her family in danger and see this in her reactions to the haunting events. Rod Steiger is good in his role though it does feel like most other religious figure roles that we have seen.

StoryThe haunting events of the Amityville is one of the most talked about in modern horror events history, it has been put through the ringer more than any other paranormal event. This follows the family as we see their account of the story, the one that most people question, away from just questioning on whether it is real or not, we get to see one man’s transformation as the spirits of the house start to take control of him, much like the events from the year before. We must get through the will power to not get beaten by possession and just how this story took the world with pure shock value. This does slowly build the tension with the effects on the family, we have moments that visitors go through and are left guessing to just where the events will go.

HorrorIf you put any horror event inside the home, you instantly get a much more deeper feeling of fear through the film. the place you feel is the safest becomes the place where the terror attacks.

SettingsThe film keeps a lot of the horror inside the home, the iconic home with the evil looking windows, when we leave we generally only get to visit the church environment following the priest side of the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are great for the time, they are simple and only come into effect when needed to make an impact in certain scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Out the Window.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story has always been talked about, the line between fact and fiction isn’t nice to judge.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most effective horrors of the late 70’s, it has chilling moments, strong performance and will keep the conversation about the events in the home alive.

 

Overall: Chilling and disturbing horror.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – H – Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Richard Nelson (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Martin McDougall

 

Plot: The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.


Tagline – One weekend that would unite two great nations 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: Hyde Park on Hudson starts as the 5th cousin Daisy (Linney) gets called to keep her cousin President Franklin D Roosevelt (Murray), the two have a unique friendship with it being a forbidden romance. This weekend, FDR is hosting the king of England Bertie (West) and his wife Elizabeth (Colman).

The weekend arrives with FDR opening his family home to the royals, with him striking up a friendship with Bertie, while Daisy now needing to figure out whether she is in love with FDR and willing to share him or not.

 

Thoughts on Hyde Park on Hudson

 

Characters – Franklin D Roosevelt is the president of the United States of America, he lives with his mother and mistresses, with his latest one coming from his own cousin line, he is hosting the King of England Bertie who has his own stuttering problem, FDR is willing to help him learn that isn’t going to hold him back. Daisy is the 5th cousin to the President who ends up in an affair with him, even if she can’t have the same standard as the other mistresses, with the story being told from her point of view. Bertie is the king of England who is visiting America to spend the weekend with the President, he is still working with his stutter, which is his biggest fear. Elizabeth is the queen of England, she tries to stop Bertie doing anything that could put a bad light on the royal family.

PerformancesBill Murray is strong as the former president, it might have seemed like a strange casting choice, but it did work for what the film was trying to say, this can go for Laura Linney too, the lover figure that doesn’t know completely where she stands, we see the uncertainty on her in every scene. The cast all do the job required without anybody getting to shine to their strongest ability.

StoryThe story looks at one of the mistresses of FDR, the royal visit before the second world war and just how everybody was keeping their lives together during this weekend which has a major spotlight on two of the most powerful people in the world. the story is told in a diary format showing just how the events of the weekend unfolded through the eyes of Daisy and it just drags along without giving the audience enough interest to go, ‘that was interesting’ this does feel like we could have had more about it before it just falling into a film about King George eating a hotdog.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film does follow just the one weekend which led to the relationship between FDR and Daisy, we don’t learn enough about the lives they have been living before either. The comedy comes from certain moments involving FDR which will give the lighter mood to the film rather than a laugh out loud moment.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the home of FDR during the weekend, it tries to show us just how the relationship drama of everyone involved plays out.


Scene of the Movie –
The hotdog.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact this film seems to be about whether the king would eat a hotdog or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull movie that seems to lack any sort of interesting story, the performances are as strong as possible with the lack of much to do.

 

Overall: Uninspiring Drama.

Rating