The Amityville Horror Collection is great & worth the money!
Porfie Medina | Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA | 04/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Amityville Horror Collection is a nice little DVD box set. You get 3 movies: The Amityville Horror / Amityville II: The Possession / Amityville 3-D, and a Bonus Disc - Amityville Confidential. Now nothing can compare to the original Amityville Horror as the newer ones got a bit out of hand. Im here to focus more on the DVD collection rather than the movies. This Collection will truly be appreciated by fans of the Amityville movies. You get a lot of great stuff with this collection. First you get a choice of either a High Definition, 16x9 Widescreen version of the film or a regular Full screen version. You also get great 5.1 Dolby Digital sound that brings new life to these films along with a choice of a regular mono track. The movies also include subtitle options in English, Spanish, and French. The amazing clarity makes the movies look like they just came out yesterday. These are HUGE improvements when compared to the old VHS versions of these films. Some of the other extras on this collection are: Audio Commentary by Dr. Hans Holzer, Ph.D. in parapsychology, "For God's Sake, Get Out" documentary, Radio spots, and the Original theatrical trailers. You get to see the theatrical trailer for THE AMITYVILLE 2005 remake which (in the bonus disc) they say the new movie is more based on the book than the original movie, and with the technology now days they can do more things from the book that they cound not do in the original film. You even get a free movie ticket to see The Amityville Horror (2005) staring Ryan Reynolds. Last but not least you get an awesome BONUS DISC called The Amityville Confidential.
On the Bonus disc you get 3 great features:
1. On Location: A short little behind the scenes making of The NEW Amityville Horror (2005 Remake) which is released in the U.S. Apil 15, 2005.
2. The History Channel documentary Amityville: Horror or Hoax?
3. The History Channel documentary Amityville: The Haunting
What can I say this is a great DVD Collection with some great stuff. I encourage anyone who appreciates these movies to get this great collection. This is well worth the money for all that you get!"
A mixed bag, err, box
William Smith | Fontana, CA United States | 04/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I kind of took a gamble on this boxset. I had very little to no memory of Amityville 2 and 3 but decided to take a chance because the set has a very reasonable asking price. What I came away with are mixed feelings and some questions.
Amityville Horror: 5 stars
Despite the lukewarm extras I still say this is one of the best horror movies ever made. It baffles me to no end that people either think it's too "slow" or (even worse) like the 2nd movie MORE! In fact, I like it because it's slow. IT lends a true credibilty. The way Kidder and Brolin present their characters are like very ordinary people, and that is something I've always liked. The chemistry just works for me for all the cast members, and that is just a rarity. The kids do NOT ham it up or ruin the movie like many a child actor has done, hell, even the the small bit parts like the "babysitter" just seem to have been perfectly cast.
And who can forget the soundtrack? I'll admit it practically makes the movie. Not to take anything away from the actors but the soundtrack really lays the groundwork for everything else, and that's the way it should be. Amityville in this regard is no different than many of the classic horror movies like the Exorcist or Halloween.
The only disappointing aspect to this movie is the rather anticlimatic ending. I'll admit it, it gets rather tedious when George returns into the house to retrieve Harry, not only that, but I'm suspecting this is an event that actually DIDN'T happen.
Extra's: Well, I'm rather disappointed Brolin and Kidder were not on the commentary. I learned more in the 20 minute "interview" with them than I did with the real commentary. Note to DVD makers: Never have commentaries with people who had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MOVIE!! It is nice though to see Brolin and Kidder in the interview though, although I was surprised Brolin indicated he felt he was a bit over the top in parts of the movie, I thought he did an excellant job.
Amityville 2: 1 star
Oh boy. Where to start? I have heard time and again people liking this movie more than the original and it took a LOT for me to even sit through this mess. The acting was atrocious! The pacing tried so hard it became comical to constantly have some sort of supernatural event happening ALL THE TIME. This movie is almost like a parody of the first, I think of it as an Amityville For Dummies. My one star is for the soundtrack; an interesting re-imagining of the original.
Amityville 3: 2.5 stars
Having heard this was the worst I went into it with very low expectations. Well, it's really not too bad. Although it's not too good either. Actually, it's a decent "ghost" movie set in a house that looks like the Amityville house though the movie just doesn't feel like an Amityville movie. The acting is better than Part 2, but sadly the subject material just seems like a generic ghost story. Heck it doesn't even have the Amityville soundtrack!
Amityville: Horror or Hoax? 3.5 stars
This is a pretty good History channel look into the subject matter and let me tell you, the Hoax side did little to sway me. I'm a believer. The people who were so focused on this being a Hoax never explained why the Lutz's left all their stuff behind or how they passed a lie detector test. I mean, why in the world would you leave all your stuff behind and hope that "somehow" your story can make millions. I mean, what are the odds? It just doesn't make sense to believe anyone would go to these lengths, unless of course something DID happen.
The only problem with the documentary is they seem to recycle the same pictures through the 40 minute show.
Amityville: The Haunting: 4 stars
A VERY in depth and informative look into not only the Lutz's trials but also the Defao murders AND a general history of the house. I do wish they would have just included this disc as a bonus disc with the first movie that way I could have avoided watching Parts 2 and 3 altogether. Then again, I'm glad I at least took a chance on them. I had been a Karate Kid fan (first movie) for years and I just suspected Part 2 and 3 would be TERRIBLE but much to my surprise (after buying that box set) they were fairly decent, it could have happened again, but... it didn't.
It's hard to tell you whether to buy this or not. I am pleased with my purchase but not entirely blown away either. Had the first movie had commentaries by Kidder, Brolin, and maybe even the kids I would be estatic, but this set just seems to be lacking the knock out punch. It could definitely use tighter packaging, slim line cases for people like me who are running out of space is the way to go, now I have a bulky boxset and half of it isn't worth watching.
An excellent horror collection.
Matthew C. Lupoli | North Haven, CT United States | 08/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
I. The Amityville Horror (1979): The film begins on the night of November 13th, 1974 in Amityville, New York. Ronald Defeo Jr. has just murdered his parents and four siblings with a high powered rifle while they slept in their beds. There was no apparent motive. He claimed that voices he heard in the house made him do it. A year later, the Defeos' gorgeous lake house is sold to George and Kathy Lutz (James Brolin and Margot Kidder) and their three children. Immediately the Lutzes notice strange things happening in the house, such as a swarm of flies in the house during the winter time and strange black fluid secreting from the toilets. A local priest named Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) senses that the house is haunted and that the Lutzes may be in great danger. It turns out that he is more right than he knows.
II. Amityville II: The Possession (1982): This prequel begins with the infamous Amityville house of horror being purchased by an Italian-American family named the Montellis. They are a very dysfunctional family led by an abusive father (Burt Young.) The family, especially their oldest son Sonny (Jack Magner), start noticing strange things going on in the house. They call upon local priest Father Adamsky (James Olson) to bless the home. He notices strange things right away, especially with Sonny. Could Sonny be possessed by some sort of demon?
III. Amityville 3-D (1983): This direct sequel to The Amityville Horror begins with skeptical journalist John Baxter (Tony Roberts) interested in buying the infamous Amityville house of horror. He knows all of the ghost stories but he doesn't really believe in them. The asking price of the house is so low that the owner is practically giving the house away; it's an offer he can't refuse. Baxter, recently divorced, buys the house for himself, but welcomes his daughter Susan (Lori Loughlin) to make a room for herself for whenever she feels like getting away from her mother's home. Not long after buying the house, people that come into contact with Baxter and the house meet with a shocking fate. Is the house really haunted?
IV. Amityville Confidential (2005): Was the Amityville house of horror really haunted or was it all a hoax. These documentaries will take you deep into the true story of the Amityville Horror.
COMMENTS: The infamous Amityville series is based on the true story of a haunted house in Amityville, New York. Even people who haven't seen the movies or read the books will still recognize the appearance of the infamous Amityville house of horror, with it's eyelid like windows that seem to stare at you. The house was owned by a dysfunctional Italian-American family called the Defeos. Their oldest son, Ronald Jr. (nick-named Butch), murdered his whole family on the night of November 13th, 1974. He shot all of them with a high powered rifle while they were asleep in their beds. Weird enough is that none of the neighbors heard a sound. In court, Ronald claimed that he murdered his family because voices told him to do so. A year later, the house was purchased by George and Kathy Lutz and their three children. They only lived in the house for 28 days. They claimed that the house was haunted. Whatever it was, it scared them enough to make them leave without taking "any" of their belongings with them. The house became the study site for several paranormalist investigators, including world-famous demonologists Ed & Lorraine Warren. Several families have owned the house since 1976, but none of them have ever claimed in public that they believed the house to be haunted. The Lutzes later tape recorded their story of their 28-day stay in the house. Author Jay Anson later used this story for his fictionalized novel "The Amityville Horror." The film version was based on both the true story and the novel, but it was more faithful to the true story. Many people claim to this day that the Lutzes are liars and that they made up the whole story to make a profit. The Lutzes claim to this day that everything that they have said about their stay in the house was the honest-to-God truth. Even local priest Father Ralph Pecoraro claimed that he was slapped in the face by an invisible force when he came to bless the home after being summoned by the Lutzes. He also claimed that he heard a strange, disembodied voice tell him to "Get Out!" As far as making a profit, they made very little royalties off of the novel and the film. They are not nor have they ever been rich. While this film version may not be a classic, it is still a fine horror film. The second film, Amityville II, is based on the true story of the Defeos and Dr. Hans Holzer's book "Murder in Amityville." However, this film has been highly fictionalized. They even changed the names of the Defeos to the Montellis. The film also borrows a lot from "The Exorcist" (1973) in that it depicts the Ronald Defeo Jr. character of Sonny Montelli as a young boy who murdered his family because he was possessed by a demon. The filmmakers also gave him demonic makeup that resembles Regan from "The Exorcist." This film is quite good as well and some people feel that it is better than the original. The third film, Amityville 3-D, came out during the early `80s revival of 3-D movies, along with "Jaws 3-D" (1983) and "Friday the 13th Part 3-D" (1982). This is the first Amityville film that was not based on true events. The special effects are really cheap and the film is so bad that it's hilarious. Unfortunately it is presented in a flat-screen format. I don't understand why they couldn't just release it with 3-D glasses like the DVD release of "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" (1991). 3-D movies look ridiculous when presented in flat-screen. Amityville 3-D was followed by several other bad fictional sequels (not included on this set) including "Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes" (1989), "The Amityville Curse" (1989), "Amityville 1992: It's About Time" (1992), "Amityville: A New Generation" (1993), and "Amityville Dollhouse" (1997). A remake of the first film also came out in 2005 starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George as the Lutzes; it was quite good. The remake is more faithful to the novel than the true story. The true gem of this collection is the 4th disc, Amityville Confidential. It is a bonus disc that includes two History Channel documentaries (Amityville: The Haunting / Amityville: Horror or Hoax?) and a short on location look into the making of the 2005 Amityville Horror remake. This whole box set is a nice little collection that I would recommend to any horror fan. All of the films have been completely remastered and are presented in the original widescreen theatrical ratio. Amityville's II and III are also viewable in full screen. The Amityville Horror also features Audio Commentary by parapsycologist Dr. Hans Holzer, radio spots, theatrical trailer, and "For God's Sake, Get Out!" documentary. The other two films only contain the trailer.
Lots of fun,scares and camp.
Unquiet American | 05/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fun clloection for mostly the die hard fans. It includes the first AMITYVILLE which has some geniuine scare. The number two film is pre-equal and based loosely on the tragic Defeo massacre, this particular flick has many chills and subversive elements. Film number three is the reason this collection only got a 4 star rating. Its awful it was originally released in 3D and has nothing to do with anything. The collection is redeemed by AMITVILLE CONFIDENTIAL, which includes behind the scenes of the remake and two compelling HISTORY channel documentaries HOOROR OR HOAX and HAUNTING. They both pretty much leave the viewer to decide or not if they believe. This a handsomely packaged collection at a great price."