Friday, 23 June 2017

The Amityville Horror - UK Blu-Ray Steelbook review.

A family get more than they bargained for when their new home turns out to be haunted, in the classic 1979 horror film “The Amityville Horror” which makes its UK Blu-Ray debut this month, in an extras laden steelbook edition, courtesy of Second Sight films.

George and Cathy Lutz (James Brolin – “Westworld”, “Capricorn One” and Magot Kidder – “Black Christmas”, “Superman 1-4”) have just moved their family into a new home, in the town of Amityville, New York state.

Thrilled at the relatively low price they bought it for, they seem unconcerned about a mass shooting that took place at the property some years previous, in which one of the house’s previous occupants murdered the rest of his family.

But it isn’t too long before they experience all sorts of weird, creepy things. The house is constantly cold, a priest (Rod Stieger - "In the Heat of the Night", "Mars Attacks") comes to visit and immediately falls violently ill. Flies swarm all over the rear window in the attic and the family claim to hear voices, amongst other things.

Are supernatural forces at work, or are the family losing their minds? Or, is it that they simply couldn’t afford the mortgage, so ran out and started telling tall tales to novelist Jay Anson, hoping to earn a few dollars by releasing a book to cash in on the murder house’s notoriety, by claiming its haunted?

Supposedly based on a true story (I think you can guess what my views are on that claim). Amityville Horror isn’t quite in the same league as The Exorcist, (which this was filmed to cash in on the success of) or the far superior Poltergeist, but is still an entertaining ghostly chiller. Which proved highly successful upon its original release and has since gone on to become a classic in it’s own right.

The film has been available on DVD for some time, but this marks the first time it has been released in the UK on Blu-Ray, which looks absolutely stunning in HD and comes jam-packed with special features, as follows...

Introduction by Hans Holzer – Paranormal researcher Hans Holzer, who investigated the Amityville hauntings introduces the film (archive feature, carried over from the old MGM DVD)

Commentary track by Hans Holzer – The paranormal researcher provides an effective trivia track for the film, on both the filming and the actual case. (carried over from the old MGM DVD)

Brolin Thunder (16mins) – Interview with lead actor James Brolin.

Child’s Play (16:30) – Interview with former child actor Meeno Peluce, who played young Matt Lutz.
Amityville Scribe (16:20) – Interview with screenwriter Sandor Stern

The Devil in the Music (14mins) – Interview with composer Lalo Schifrin

My Amityville Horror (1hr:25) – Arguably the best feature on the disc, the original full length 2012 documentary with Daniel Lutz, son of the real George and Kathy Lutz, talking about what happened to him and his family when they moved into the Amityville house

For God’s sake get out (20:40) – Another archival feature, originally filmed for the 2005 DVD release, featuring interviews with James Brolin and Margot Kidder talking about the making of the film (carried over from the old MGM DVD).

Lastly there the Theatrical trailer, TV spot,  and Radio spots which were also on previous DVD releases of the film.

A very nice mixture of new and archival features. However, those who own the old MGM DVD will note that the History Channel documentaries, “Amityville Haunting” and “Horror or Hoax”, which were included on that, have not been carried over onto this release. But I think the inclusion of the full length My Amityville Horror documentary here more than makes up for that.

The Amityville Horror is released to UK BD June 26th in a limited edition steelbook which also contains
reproduction lobby card postcards.

Buy UK BD Steelbook from Amazon.co.uk





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