The Amityville Horror Collection (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Rated: M/Region AB/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 4
Available from Via Vision Entertainment
The Amityville Horror (1979) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Stuart Rosenberg
Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger
Based on a true story that was claimed by writer Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror is about a large house on the coast of Long Island where newlyweds George and Kathy Lutz and their three children move into the house that they hope will be their dream house but it ends up in terror. Despite full disclosure by the real estate agent of the home’s history, George and Kathy buy the house. George says, “Houses don’t have memories,” but they turn to their family priest Father Delaney who believes the house is haunted and performs an exorcism on the house. But the evil spirit in the house causes him to become blind and makes him very ill. George and Kathy with the help of another priest Father Bolen and a police detective they face the fears of the house, but not knowing the spirit is planning to possess George and then the children.
The house is by far the star of this film, as it should be. In the history of horror films, I don’t think any other house tops the Amityville one when it comes to being creepy and spooky. So regardless if you are a fan of haunted houses or not you will enjoy this one. The story in its self is creepy, just a little on the slower side. The drama and tension build as our cast is experiencing the horror firsthand. The evil in the house gets to the people and the animals and while it never gets in a hurry I don’t think you will be let down by the end results.
Does James Brolin go a little over the top with his performance a time or two here? I think so, but I also think it still works. The religious aspect is creepy, the flies are creepy, and while the movie might not have the strongest finale you will find, it still is creepy and above all else fits in with the rest of the film and works. The transfer here is clearly at a top rate and against the other two in this set wins easily. This is the best version of Amityville you will find out on the market. You get an eerie story and a transfer that doesn’t let anyone down.
– New interview – Haunted Melodies with Composer Lalo Schifrin
– “For God’s Sake, Get Out!” Documentary with actors James Brolin and Margot Kidder
– Audio Commentary by Dr. Hans Holzer, PH.D. in Parapsychology (author of MURDER IN AMITYVILLE)- Original Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spot
– Radio Spots
Quality of Transfer: 94%
Amityville II: The Possession (1982) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Damiano Damiani
Starring: James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda
An Italian-American family moves into a house built on an ancient Indian burial ground. The oldest son is possessed by an evil spirit and is forced to murder his family. The family’s priest feels responsible and tries to save the possessed boy’s soul.
Keeping with the trend from the 80s of having a sequel/prequel that changes some things around from the film before we have Amityville II. I find that this one was like a cross between flowers in the attic and our original film in this franchise and if you’ve seen it you know why. In a lot of ways this movie works better as a sequel to spite the fact, it is meant as a prequel. And, I must say while not as good as the first it isn’t a bad film. You could, however, make a case that the creepiest stuff here is between our brother and sister and not what the house does. Yeah, I know the house gets the assist in it, but still.
I do think once we originally leave the house things seem to slow down a bit. I almost assumed once the stuff in the house was done that the film was done, but it goes on for a while longer. That is where we focus on the aftermath of the events and I also think that is a part we might have been able to do without. The movie has its perks. The gore and practical effects are cool and fun. The rest of the movie does get hit and miss at times. The transfer is also on point with what we’d want here from a film like this on Blu-ray. We have great color and great details. You will be very happy with the disc I assure you.
– The Possession of Damiani – Interview with Director Damiano Damiani
– Adapting Amityville – New Interview with Screenwriter Tommy Lee Wallace
– Family Matters – New Interview with Actress Diane Franklin
– A Mother’s Burden – New Interview with Actress Rutanya Alda
– Father Tom’s Memories – New Interview with Actor Andrew Prine
– New Interview with ghost hunter/author Alexandra Holzer (GROWING UP HAUNTED: A GHOSTLY MEMOIR)
– New Audio Commentary with ghost hunter/author Alexandra Holzer (GROWING UP HAUNTED: A GHOSTLY MEMOIR)
– Original Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 91%
Amityville 3-D (1983) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy
A man who is separated from his wife moves into the infamous Amityville House. Their daughter dies in a boating accident (after being told that she is not allowed to go to the house) and now the mother sees her deceased daughter “alive” in the house. Mr. Baxtor calls a paranormal investigator in to help and the investigator finds out the source of the household problems.
Well, the third film in this set and the third in the Amityville series is a bit of a stinker. The movie at times makes the house feel like a secondary entity when it should feel more important than it does. Also, the characters are not very good or interesting for my personal taste. With the 3D gimmick we also have some very silly things like flies on strings that come across way more annoying then they should have been. If you enjoyed the atmosphere from the original two films, I am sad to say that feeling is long gone here as the gimmick seems to be all that the movie makes seem important. And, if you aren’t watching it in 3D it does come across rather silly and forced at times.
Also, I’m not sure what is going on with the transfer here, but it isn’t pretty. I’m sure the fact this movie was made for 3D plays a large factor into things. Maybe the movie looks better and works better in Blu-ray 3D, but in basic Blu-ray, this movie seems to have hardly any detail at all. Is it a upconverted DVD? Maybe it is, but the transfer sure doesn’t do the film any favors. I think most people agree that Amityville 3D is awful and offers little more than Meg Ryan in small doses, but the set as a whole is still great. And, like they always say, two out of three ain’t bad. Unless you have some weird nostalgic connection to Amityville 3D, I’m afraid the spots of cool shots won’t overcome the negative.
– 2D and Blu-ray 3D presentation of the film for the first time!
– A Chilly Reception – New Interview with Actress Candy Clark
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– Photo Gallery
Quality of Transfer: 71%
Amityville Confidential Bonus DVD
This is the bonus disc that sets this set apart from the US Scream Factory release as it contains not only this 42 minute Discover Channel Documentary but other goodies as well. One of which is the 80 plus minute documentary titles My Amityville Horror. So you’ll want this set for this disc alone if you are really into this franchise. Not to mention the fact that it will play in both region B and A players.
– On Location: The Amityville Horror (2005)
– Amityville: Horror or Hoax?
– Amityville: The Haunting
– My Amityville Horror