With the spooky season almost upon us – and let’s admit it, it’s here – it’s time to cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket, light a candle, turn off the lights, and watch a horror movie. Luckily for Max subscribers, franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th are available for fans to binge as well as the Ryan Reynolds-led remake of The Amityville Horror. While we love him for his sass, wit, and comedic edge, it’s safe to say that the Deadpool actor absolutely slays in this movie.
The 2005 version of The Amityville Horror, starring Ryan Reynolds, is streaming on Max.
In 2005, filmmaker Andrew Douglas set out to reboot Stuart Rosenberg’s classic 1979 feature of the same name, which in turn was based on Jay Anson’s novel of the same name. All of these productions were adaptations of a true crime-turned-ghost story from a real-life family living in Amityville, New York.
The ninth film in the franchise, the Ryan Reynolds-led The Amityville Horror would pick up the axe and take yet another swing at the horrific tale of the DeFeo family.
The year was 1974 and a horrific multiple murder had the small town in Long Island by the neck. For an unknown reason (later said to be caused by possession), Ronald DeFeo Jr. waited until his family fell asleep and shot them one by one in their home.
It’s hard to remake such a classic piece of cinema but the inclusion of Ryan Reynolds certainly helped drive audiences to check out The Amityville Horror.
Later, George Lutz (who Ryan Reynolds would play in The Amityville Horror) moved his family into the home, only to undergo alleged haunting events that would see them leaving in an absolute panic.
Taking place inside the home and the sprawling property, the film gives audiences the background of DeFeo Jr.’s crimes, pinning the reason for his actions on voices that he was hearing while living in the house. Down on their luck, the Lutz family (Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, and Chloë Grace Moretz) are thrilled to find that the sprawling home is available for a cheap price.
However, upon their move-in, supernatural occurrences almost immediately begin to take place with the climax of The Amityville Horror driving the family patriarch, George Lutz, insane with a murderous rage.
It’s hard to remake such a classic piece of cinema but the inclusion of Ryan Reynolds certainly helped drive audiences to check out The Amityville Horror. With a production budget of $19 million, the box office sales of $107.5 million far surpassed what was needed to film the movie. Still, overall, the feature was met with negative reviews from both fans and critics and is still considered to be a needless remake of a revered piece of cinematic history.
The True Story Of Amityville
Beyond Ryan Reynolds’ turn as George Lutz, the reality of what happened at the home in which The Amityville Horror is based continues to be a heavily debated topic. Over the years, paranormal investigators, including Ed and Lorraine Warren (the paranormal experts who serve as the base in The Conjuring franchise) have checked out the validity of the home’s haunting.
In New York, the Lutz’s claimed experience even put a new law into motion as the real estate agent who sold the family the home never told them about the murders or possible haunting – something that’s now mandated by the state.
Despite its sprawling lore with Ryan Reynolds and James Brolin starring in two of The Amityville Horror films, Christopher Quarantino has said that while there was a haunting, it wasn’t nearly as intense as the films and movies made it out to be. Furthermore, he claims that his stepfather, George Lutz, brought more trouble to the family as he dipped into the occult.
A real-life haunting or hoax, the story behind the iconic home has become a legendary ghost story that has shaped the film industry in the same way that serial killer, Ed Gein, has (Gein is the inspiration behind such titles as Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).
While we may never fully know the truth, it’s still a chill-inducing tale of one family’s dance with the demonic. And, although Ryan Reynolds’ leading role in 2005’s The Amityville Horror may be hailed as the worst one yet, for those interested in the story, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to check out the film while it’s streaming on Max.