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My Amityville Horror (2012)
Movie Review by The Mortician

My Amityville Horror (2012) Wow, there's just been SO MANY movies in the seemingly unending AMITYVILLE HORROR franchise, from multiple sequels, remakes, Asylum ripoffs, shockumentaries, books, and now...a real life, honest-to-goodness documentary that actually focuses directly on one of the individuals who lived through the real events as a child back in the early '70's, one Daniel Lutz. (Lutz was one of the kids that lived in the house when it regurgitated the entire family with its famous alleged paranormal activity. "GET OUT!!!!!!" He was the kid in the movie that allegedly got his hand smashed in the window.) For those of you unfamiliar with THE AMITYVILLE HORROR case, basically the Lutz family moved into a cheap house in Long Island, NY where the previous family was murdered by one of its kids via shotgun. Maniac Kid was apprehended and put into a nuthouse. The Lutz family, including parents George and Kathy and their three kids, moved into the place and experienced all kinds of paranormal freakshow proceedings that caused them to suddenly flee the house and all their belongs after just a short month of living there. A best-selling book by Jay Anson quickly followed (primo summer beach reading in them swingin' '70's!) with an avalanche of Hollywood motion picture adaptations racing down the pike, satiating the spellbound American public. (And obviously, not much has changed with collective public obsession nearly forty years later with the success of all the PARANORMAL movies, ghost reality TV shows, etc.) The Lutz family sold all the rights and made a boodle of cash off their alleged story. The question always has remained---was it real or a hoax? That's the focus of MY AMITYVILLE HORROR, as we get to know Daniel Lutz as an adult and how the incident has haunted and shaped his life. As children, the Lutz brood was not allowed to speak about the indecent, their parents forbade it. So the question remains---was the incident real? A fabrication? Hallucinations? Group family mass hallucination? Paranoia? Powerful suggestion made real by George Lutz (who we find out in the doc was heavily into all things occult BEFORE they moved into the home)? Daniel Lutz, in his late 40's now, is fascinating to watch in this documentary. He chain smokes, is temperamental and almost bi-polar, plays heavy metal guitar to let off steam, and is obviously still trying to come to terms with his stepfather George Lutz and the incidents that happened at 112 Ocean Avenue during that scary month late '74 and early '75. Interviewed and interrogated by the filmmakers, shrinks, a reporter who covered the incident back in '75, among others, we get to know and like Daniel. I'm not sure exactly WHY he's remained so "haunted" by the events that happened, they'd seemingly be pretty easy to forgive and forget as you got older and built your own life, but...different people are affected in different ways by different experiences. But haunted Daniel remains, now anxious to tell his side of the story all this time later for some reason. (Money? Was he paid to do this? Who knows!) The doc lets the viewer draw his or her own conclusion, but what I concluded was this: Daniel Lutz absolutely believes what happened to his family in that house. Nothing will change his perception of that. However, as we see in the documentary, Daniel's recollections are a mix-mash of the pop culture books and films more than events that may have really physically happened to him. It seems to me that an overbearing, slightly crazed, brainwashing occult obsessed father had more to do with this incident than anything else. But you can draw your own conclusion with this interesting and rather provocative little documentary. Still, I'm of the mindset that the best thing THE AMITYVILLE HORROR spawned was a great possession sequel and that masturbatory sequence in the original film of Margot Kidder doing erotic stretches in her underwear, the ultimate in '70's camel toe exploitation! But I do hope this doc helps Daniel Lutz heal in some way and bury the hatchet on the demons in his psyche.

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