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  • Films about haunted houses have come a long way since the days when things simply went bump in the night, but The Amityville Horror may make you wish things would get back to basics. Peppered with visual red herrings, fast editing and cheap shocks, this is a product that promises an apocalypse of horror, delivers a few vague samples, but trails to an ending without providing a meaty climax. [28 July 1979]

  • The problem with The Amityville Horror is that, in a very real sense, there's nothing there. We watch two hours of people being frightened and dismayed, and we ask ourselves... what for? If it's real, let it have happened to them. Too bad, Lutzes! If it's made up, make it more entertaining. If they can't make up their minds... why should we? show more

  • Of all the questions raised by The Amityville Horror, the most vexing one revolves around the external range of a haunted house’s supernatural powers. Because while it makes sense for a demonic abode to slam windows shut on small children’s fingers, let loose with swarms of buzzing flies, and turn bearded wood-chopping fathers into homicidal paterfamilias, it’s not quite as clear why such a structure would have the ability to sabotage the brakes of a sedan driving on the highway, or to cause a woman’s briefcase, sitting on her car’s passenger seat, to magically burst into flames. show more

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