Director: Andrew Douglas
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Philip Baker Hall
Screenplay: Scott Kosar
90 mins. Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexuality and drug use.
Platinum Dunes is known (or notorious?) for their remakes of classic horror films. In 2005, we got a new Amityville Horror film. Like it or not, it happened.
In 1975, George Lutz (Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, Woman in Gold) and his wife Kathy (Melissa George, TV’s The Slap, 30 Days of Night) move into their new home. Their time at the home would last 28 days of sheer terror as they discover the previous owners were murdered in the home one year previously.
Something I noticed as I watched this film yesterday that I hadn’t seen before. This movie is so PG it is ridiculous. I wasn’t scared once. I was barely even intrigued. This film is so tame I couldn’t take it. Ryan Reynolds is perhaps my favorite part and even he came off as too hokey at times, trying to deliver snappy dialogue when he should have been focused on his character’s development. I enjoyed his process (he actually neglected getting to know his on-screen children to make him more menacing when needed), but the finished product couldn’t coordinate him in.
Now, the set was actually scarier than the film. On the first day of the shoot, a dead fisherman washed ashore on set. That shit is scary. We’ll get to that one day.
All in all, there are reasons Andrew Douglas isn’t a big name at all. This is one of them. The Amityville Horror is a movie that could have worked as a remake. The whole franchise has a lot of problems and a remake could have course-corrected and brought the series together. It didn’t work, though. It didn’t at all.
-Kyle A. Goethe