There are 3 good movies in the Amityville Horror franchise; the original Amityville Horror, released in 1979 and directed by Stuart Rosenberg, is a haunted house masterpiece; the second film, a prequel, was a fictional reimagining of the actual DeFeo Family murders; the third film in the franchise, Amityville 3-D featured a professional debunker getting more than he bargained for. As for the dozen + other films bearing the Amityville moniker, it’s a wasteland of poorly conceived stand-alones and poorly produced cash-grabs.
But Amityville has a rabid fan base (myself included), so there’s been legitimate excitement regarding Amityville: The Awakening, due for release June 30th (unless it gets another postponement—there have been 6 so far). While it isn’t a reboot or a straight sequel, it at least takes place at the infamous house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island. Have a look at the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: A single mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) moves into a new home with her three children, but the miraculous recovery of her previously comatose teenage son (Cameron Monaghan) leads to a series of sinister events that leave the frightened family fighting for their lives. Bella Thorne and Kurtwood Smith co-star.
More exciting, though, is word that CineTel Films, producers of the I Spit on Your Grave franchise, have their own Amityville movie in the works; one that gets back to the basics of that made the story so terrifying in the first place: The stories of the Lutz and the DeFeo families. We don’t have much information yet, but here’s the synopsis for The Haunting on Long Island: The Amityville Murders:
“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. Thirteen months later, the Lutz family bought the house and stayed only 28 days before fleeing in terror. Their nightmarish ordeal shocked the world in The Amityville Horror. The Lutzes may have escaped from Amityville with their lives … but the DeFeo’s weren’t so lucky. This is their story.”
It’s the human drama at the core of The Amityville Horror and its first 2 sequels that made those films legitimately horrifying. Hopefully, focusing on the truth as it pertains to the legend of Amityville will reproduce the winning formula the franchise briefly enjoyed in the late 1970s and 80s. Time will tell.
Are you a fan of The Amityville Horror movies? Are you excited for Amityville: The Awakening and/or The Haunting on Long Island: The Amityville Murders? Sound off in the Comments section!