Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes

 Welcome to 31 Days of Horror 4. This year I am pitting originals against remakes to see which ones come out on top.

The Amityville Horror (1979) vs. The Amityville Horror (2005)
The movie is based on the true events that happened to the Lutz family back in the year 1975.
The movie begins with George (James Brolin) and Kathleen Lutz (Margot Kidder) and their children moving into the Dutch Colonial at 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, N.Y.
Yet, 13 months before the Lutz moved in Ronald DeFeo Jr. had shot and killed all six of his family members in the house.
The real story goes that after 28 days of living in the house, the Lutz family fled in fear. They claimed they were being terrorized by paranormal activity.
The movie covers those 28 days and we slowly see George Lutz turning on his family and being tormented by the entity that drove Ronald DeFeo Jr. to kill.
Even though that the actually story, which this is based, doesn’t add up, the movie is a great haunted house film.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this a masterpiece but for what it is it’s effective. The pacing and overall tone of the original film was more menacing than the 2005 remake. This was because the original explored the story without getting into too much depth and allowed our minds create the horrors that live in the house.
The 2005 remake follows the same story, but gets into more of the history of the house. This ultimately weighs down the film.
What made the original more effective was not seeing the ghosts and knowing less about the history of the home. In this film the ghosts are popping up left and right and then we get the story why the ghosts look like the way they do.
I appreciate the fact that the writer and director attempted to do something new with the material. I also appreciate the performances in this movie, but it’s really nothing new.
In the end the movie is mediocre at best.
So, which is better?
I find things I like about both films but in the end the win goes to the original. The 1979 film had that creepy main theme, Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), and much more of an atmosphere than the remake.
Original Wins

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