AWWWWWW YEAAAAAHHHHHH it’s that sweet sweet sweet sweet part of the alphabet where some of my readers may have actually heard of the movie.
FUCK YOU, ASYLUM – HOLLYWOOD’S IN DA HOOOUUUUUUSE
I can tell you right now that I am much more excited about this than the movie itself actually merits, since it’s not actually a great movie. Critic’s reviews at the time declared it resoundingly meh, with Roger Ebert describing it as “dreary and terminally depressing.” Even I wasn’t all that crazy about it, really.
But, that being said, IT IS A HORROR MOVIE THAT HAS BEEN VERY POPULAR AND SUCCESSFUL AND WAS AT ONE POINT AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX. THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL AND UNIQUE SITUATION. Good quality and famous horror movies have indeed been on Netflix, but they tend to be either new/indie/foreign films that gain success in part due to being available on Netflix (see: Babadook) (no but actually go see Babadook) or horror classics that are old enough to be super cheap to have online (see: Nosferatu) (or don’t). Movies that you may have actually seen or heard of (The Exorcist, The Omen, The Shining, The Carrie) will pop up on Netflix only for a limited time because it’s expensive to have them there. Which is why Cujo was on Netflix for a few months, but Thinner will be there FOR FUCKING EVER, thanks Stephen King.
The Amityville Horror was actually super damn popular when it came out – it broke all kinds of box office records because it was “based on a true story,” which….lol. But the American public LOVES THAT SHIT, especially when it means ghosts and demons and not like…history. So it went over crazy well.
Here’s what it’s actually about (I have no idea how to review a movie you’ve seen, so pretend you haven’t): an attractive, young, white, married couple with an acceptable number of well-behaved children buy their first home at a great bargain. It’s the American Dream! Except that Dad doesn’t tell anyone that the house was super cheap because an entire family was gunned the fuck down all over the second floor. Whatever, capitalism is what makes America great. Mom is Catholic and wants the house blessed so she gets a Priest to come over and wave Jesus all over the place (I have no idea what priests do). Priest comes over and discovers A LARGE AMOUNT OF FLIES IN ONE OF THE ROOMS AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. And then HIS STOMACH HURTS OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
So make note: if ever you are to notice flies and stomach pains within half an hour of each other, assume demons.
So Priest gets the fuck out and then his life is ruined forever as explained in a few more scenes that no one cares much about. Dad becomes a very Grumpy Dad and has a fascination with chopping firewood with a giant axe that could definitely kill a whole family of people if it were to be wielded by a man possessed by demons hint hint. A few more things are weird, windows opening and closing, the dog thinks there’s something in the basement, and the youngest daughter has an imaginary friend named Jody which she says is a floating pig with glowing red eyes who lives outside of her window, which is when you DEFINITELY bring in a child psychiatrist and check for pedophiles with access to night vision goggles, but whatever.
Most notable is how murdery Grumpy Dad seems recently, and how he keeps waking up at 3:15 am on the dot and feeling like he has to check on the boathouse. (Oh yeah, this house also came with a boathouse. Like, a nice boathouse. The house is nice too. I probably would have ignored all the murder and bought the place too, really.) And Mom has dreams about the family being slaughtered in the house. And the babysitter is locked in a closet and sees dead children and stuff. (She quits, which is reasonable. Kids, amirite.)
But of course, the massacre of an entire family isn’t really enough ghosts and demons to concern anyone – more research must be done to determine what’s REALLY the matter with the house. So they go to the library to look into it and…..it’s built on an Indian burial ground and also a Satanic worshipper used to hold evil evil ceremonies in the house. Because of course. It can’t just be a haunted house, it has to be a fucking Bermuda Triangle of hellspawn.
Then some shit goes nuts and the family flees the house NEVER TO RETURN AGAIN!!!!
Now….keep in mind, this movie was made in 1979, so the pacing isn’t for everybody (read: not for me), but even so, it’s not….awesome. It’s a little plodding at times and secondary characters come in and out of importance at odd junctures, not to mention that there’s not exactly a ton of plot. And the mood is a little…..dreary. Roger Ebert was right – it sort of has one single feeling of doom which only increases as the movie goes on but never really changes. Still, the acting and music are not bad, which is usually asking for a lot from a late 70s movie. They lucked out in getting James Brolin and Margot Kidder, and even Priesty McPriesterson does a pretty good job.
But really guys, if you live in a house where a bunch of people were shot in the faces and blood got everywhere and it’s a rural house and it’s probably not too easy to clean…..you’re gonna have flies. Chillax, Father Jesus.