Sunday, December 18, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Amityville Horror (2005)

Day #18

The Amityville Horror

A family moves into a house where a brutal murder once took place, only to find out that it wasn't that an evil man once lived in their home, but that their home turns men evil.

Fright Factor:
2.2 / 5 Children on the Roof

Gore Factor:
3 / 5 Paranoid Nightmare Visions

Should I watch it?

Watching this movie is kind of like going out to a comfortable bar for drinks with some friends and then suddenly Ryan Reynolds is there and he’s putting the moves on you. On the one hand, you didn’t come to this club to be hit on by an increasingly drunk Ryan Reynolds, but on the other hand he keeps taking off his shirt and making you laugh by tweeting at children to tell them to go chop firewood for him. And yes, you probably should just get out of there, but darn it, you’re kind of curious how this night is gonna turn out.

In simpler terms: this is a film whose triumphs and failures are almost entirely hinged on a single casting choice.

I have seen Ryan Reynolds in way too many comedic roles for me to ever take him too seriously. Which means I could never take a lot of the movie too seriously; a not insignificant factor when it comes to achieving scares.

And yet watching Ryan Reynolds terrorize some children is simultaneously weirdly delightful and kind of unnerving. The whole point of the movie is that there’s this evil house that can pervert your nature to its will and turn you against those you love the most. So Reynolds’ performance—despite some inherent cheesiness—is often kind of secretly brilliant, because when he does cruel or mean things it actually does seem inherently against his character.

The result is that the movie oscillates wildly between standard 00’s horror, modern remake horror, and over-the-top-cheesy-good-fun horror. The inconsistency prevents me from saying that it’s a particularly amazing movie, but I’ve gotta give it credit, because I was thoroughly entertained throughout. Not always for the best of reasons, but entertained nevertheless.

At the end of the night, I think it would be a fun movie to watch with your go-to horror buddy. It’s kinda cheesy, kinda spooky, kinda clever, and kinda ridiculous.

And if nothing else: shirtless & ripped Ryan Reynolds telling off snotty-nosed kids.

“Houses don’t kill people. People kill people.”

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