Directed by: Eric Walters
In November 1974, Ronald DeFeo went floor by floor in his parent’s four-story Amityville home, shooting and killing all six of his family members. DeFeo claimed spirits told him to do it. A year later, George and Kathy Lutz moved their three children, Daniel, Christopher, and Melissa into the house. After only 28 days, the Lutz family fled the in fear leaving all of their personal possessions behind. They claimed that they were forced to leave after all the haunting experiences that occurred in their short stay at 112 Ocean Avenue.
Over the years to follow the Lutz’ story became an international phenomenon. They were on the cover of “Home Journal” and they were on every news and radio program. They also made national television appearances on talk shows. The story became the subject of a best-selling novel and a blockbuster movie spawning almost a dozen sequels. This haunting phenomenon is internationally known as “The Amityville Horror.”
Since the initial boom of the film and books, George and Kathy Lutz, became celebrities in there own right… what about the children? How did this experience shape these young kids as they grew into adults? This is question and plot of the documentary “My Amityville Horror.”
Lutz Family Flee Amityville House After Only 28 Days
The documentary features the oldest child, Daniel Lutz. The other children declined to be interviewed. It is a sociological documentary that looks into the life of someone who was exposed at a very young age. Danny, as he is referred to in the documentary, is a very headstrong man. When you look into the eyes of this man you can tell that he has been through some interesting and crazy experiences. He was very affected by the success of “The Amityville Horror.” He claims it still haunts him to this day.
The documentary follows Danny as he goes to therapists, counselors, and even visit Lorraine Warren. The Warren’s investigated the haunting back in the late 1970’s. Danny holds a strong hate for his stepfather George. He claims George was involved with the occult. After the family fled the house, George convinced his mother Kathy to leave the kids in a private school while the two traveled the world promoting their story. He feels hurt his mother left him behind for fame. Both George and Kathy are now passed away and it is very evident that Danny still holds a large amount of pure hatred for George.
This is the side of the story you have never seen. Yes, it talks about the haunting, but it also dives into the sociological effects of having this whole “mass media experience” happen to someone at such a young age. Danny recalls other children referring to him as “the Amityville kid.” It is a very intriguing and interesting documentary. You can tell the director has a strong passion for the topic and it comes off in a rather un-biased point of view. The film ends on a strange note, with Danny refusing to answer a particular question (you will have to watch the film to see the question, no spoilers here).
My Amityville Horror Simultaneously Explores the Human Psyche and the Supernatural
The production value on the film is outstanding. Unlike most documentaries, it is very cinematic. The film was shot using a Red Camera and at times it feels like a movie. The pace of the film stays consistent and Danny himself is a great “character” to be the main subject for a documentary. I was not bored while viewing this film. It gives a fresh perspective to a now famous story. Anyone who has any interest in “The Amityville Horror” or the sociology of the human psyche should definitely give this film a view. It is now available on DVD and Netflix streaming.
4 out of 5 Blood Drops.