I’ve always enjoyed watching horror films but certain ones stick in your mind, The Omen, Poltergeist and Halloween to name just three. Another one of my favourites is The Amityville Horror (1979), well great news for me because thanks to Second Sight Films the film has just received its UK Blu-ray release and looks like it might just be a very good release. So without further ado here’s my The Amityville Horror Blu-ray Review.
- The Amityville Horror Blu-ray Review (1979)
- Running Time: 119 Mins
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 1
- Released By Second Sight Films
A family are brutally murdered in the Amityville house by their son whilst they sleep. Following this tragedy the property is put up for sale. A year later George and Kathy Lutz, recently married, cannot believe their luck when they purchase the house. However there is an evil presence in the house and soon strange occurrences begin to happen. Add to that George’s personality seems to be changing becoming remote and angry.
With even the local priest badly affected who can they turn to for help?
Based on The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson.
Style / Direction
The trick is to slowly ramp up the tension without giving too much away but not letting proceeding become dull and that is where director Stuart Rosenberg excels with The Amityville Horror. The pacing is perfect showing us glimpses of what is to come early on such as when the priest arrives to bless the house but not allowing events to be connected.
The cinematography is handled by Fred J. Koenekamp.
Music / Audio Effects
Lalo Schifrin treats us to a horror master class with a perfect score that gives plenty of spine-chilling terrors. With the music this good the audio effects need to be on par and they certainly are with plenty of creaky doors and thunder storms, excellent stuff!
Acting / Characters
James Brolin as George Lutz and Margot Kidder as Kathy Lutz are another reason the film works so well. There play it incredibly seriously and this draws you fully into their plight.
I love it when George simply can’t take any more he cries out “I’m coming apart, oh mother of God I’m coming apart!” His performance is quite brilliant.
Rod Steiger as Father Delaney really gives the film a certain gravitas. He seems the perfect choice to play the role and his performance only helps to make you truly terrified. At one point whilst in the house conducting a blessing the house tells him to “Get Out!”
To be fair all the actors cast suit their roles well.
Conclusion – The Amityville Horror Film Review
There are certain horror films that nail the tension and ramp up the terror cleverly, films such as The Omen or Poltergeist. You can add The Amityville Horror to that same list it’s incredibly well made and acted. However every great horror film needs a terrifying musical score to accompany it and that’s where the excellent composer Lalo Schifrin goes to town in with one of the best horror scores to date.
This film like The Omen is an example of less is more. The story the acting and music all make this a far better film than many of the more recent horror offerings because of it’s clever filmmaking.
The Amityville Horror Blu-ray Review
First off it should be noted that this is an MGM film and that is not usually a sign of good picture quality. Now on to the good news as Second Sight Films the company responsible for its UK release have thankfully cleaned up the print. So in general the picture is excellent clean and sharp with the colours looking vibrant. That said the film does occasionally have a couple of speckle / marks appearing but these a few and far between.
So not quite a perfect print but pretty close to it. Now on to the extras and I have to say they are absolutely excellent. They are packed full with on-set stories with James Brolin’s and screenwriter Sandor Stern interviews being my particular favourite.
Put simply I can’t fault this set of extras, great job!
I have no hesitation in recommending you pick this version up on Blu-ray. This is a very good Blu-ray release and credit must go to Second Sight Films for such a high quality release.
- Brolin Thunder – Interview with actor James Brolin (16 mins)
- Childs Play – Interview with actor Meeno Peluce (17 mins)
- Amityville Scribe – Interview with screenwriter Sandor Stern (16 mins)
- The Devil in the music – Interview with Lalo Schifrin (14 mins)
- My Amityville Horror: Documentary with David Lutz (85 mins)
- For God’s Sake, Get Out! – Featuring James Brolin & Margot Kidder (21 mins)
- Audio Commentary by Dr Hans Holzer
- Original Trailer
- 4 reproduction lobby cards exclusive to Steelbook release
On to my movie rating for The Amityville (1979)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: VERY GOOD
- Extras: EXCELLENT
The Amityville Horror (1979) is available now on Blu-ray priced £22.99 from Amazon (as of date of review)
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
If you like my The Amityville Horror Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- The Conjuring 2 (2016)
- Ouija Origin of Evil (2016)
- Stigmata Review (1999)
- The City of the Dead (1960)
- The Conjuring 2 (2016)
- The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
So that’s The Amityville Horror Blu-ray Review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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The Amityville Horror Blu-ray Review (1979)
Director(s): Stuart Rosenberg
Actor(s): James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, Murray Hamilton
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
A master class in sheer terror! It also now looks fabulous on Blu-ray.