The Amityville Murders is an interesting look at the beginning of the Amityville Horror.
Director: Daniel Farrands
Writer: Daniel Farrands (Screenplay)
Starring: John Robinson, Chelsea Ricketts, Paul Ben-Victor, Diane Franklin, Lainie Kazan, Burt Young
Plot: On the night of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered his entire family as they slept. At his trial, DeFeo claimed that “voices” in the house commanded him to kill. This is their story.
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Amityville Murders starts as we meet the DeFeo family mobster figure Ronnie (Ben-Victor), wife Louise (Franklin), eldest Butch (Robinson), Dawn (Ricketts) and youngest members Marc (Austin) and Allison (Brenner). Butch is planning on moving away to college, away from his abusive father.
As Butch starts seeing things around the home, as well as hearing noises. He starts to act strange, but he isn’t the only family member having unusual experiences in the home.
Thoughts on The Amityville Murders
Characters & Performances
Butch is the eldest son of the family, he is waiting for his chance to leave. His father piles pressure on him, while he is trying to figure out what to do with his life. Butch gets hit around by his father, which will see him suffering from what is going on around him. He will start hearing voices and noises around the home, leaving him questioning his own sanity.
Dawn is the eldest sister who often invites her friends over to the home. She doesn’t get blamed as often as Butch for any problems. Leaving her trapped in the home, without her father wanting her to mingle. She is very close to Butch, as they both want to move away.
Ronnie Sr is the father of the home, working for a mobster. He is very aggressive towards his family, controlling them whenever he can. His temper has caused the tension within the family, even if his cowers under his own boss. Even if he is family, most of the family are sick of the abuse he puts them through.
Completing the family is the mother Louise, who has been witnessing the abuse and wanting it to stop. We also have the younger children who don’t get as much abuse from their family.
The performance from John Robinson in the leading role is haunting. One performance that will show the pain and abuse he has suffered, mixed with the possession the house is known for. Paul Ben-Victor will make you hate his father figure, with his attitude towards his family. Chelsea Ricketts takes the eldest daughter role, which will see her taking what looks more like a final girl role in the movie.
The story here follows the Defeo family who were the family killed in the Amityville home, before the most famous incident. The story will show the abuse suffered by the siblings in the home by their father. This is a strange story to follow, because we know how it is going to end. The journey getting to this outcome will throw in some half-assed supernatural tale. One we tend to get more focus on with the actual original Amityville Horror. Having seen most of Daniel Farrands other movies about real-life murders, this does come off as his best with ease.
The Amityville Murders is a horror thriller that will dive into the history of the Amityville. There will be a couple of low built-up tension filled moments, through the home. When we look at the location, it is the iconic Amityville home. The tension created doesn’t feel like it achieves enough though. This is because we already know the outcome and the horror involved. The movie can be found here