It is safe to say that the horror film The Amittyville Horror (1979) is a quintessential must see for horror fans whether you believe the story of the Lutz family as they are menaced by the house or not. The 2005 remake is a whole lot less believable as it was simply made to cash in on the horror film remake trend. After the remake made a ton of money (not to mention the countless number of sequels) the question of whether or not the original film is really “Based on a True Story” is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is whether or not the members of the Lutz family believe it or not. My Amittyville Horror (2012) is the story of what happened in that house to the Lutz family from the perspective of the youngest son Daniel who is speaking about the incident for the first time in 35 years.
It must be stated that Daniel Lutz believes that the film version is his father George’s version of what happened in the house as he was too young to fully understand all that was going on at the time. Thirty-five years later Daniel has lived with the infamy of the story and had time to reflect on its impact on his life. Daniel has never forgotten what happened and has never been able to get his story out until now. Director Eric Walter is not a timid film maker as he gets to the heart of the controversy surrounding the whole incident. Even when Daniel gets defensive with Eric in regards to some of the questions being asked Eric never backs down and doesn’t allow Daniel to get away with not answering the questions despite the fact that on many occasions Daniel would rather just kick Eric out of his house.
This is one of the aspects of the film that is most successful as Eric refuses to let this film be simply Daniel telling his story about the events without any confrontation. If Daniel was simply allowed to tell his story audiences would not get a reference for what to believe may be the truth verses what Daniel only wants us to believe is the truth (or the truth as seen through the eyes of a young child now grown up and telling his story through reflection).
The infamous Amittyville story may never be fully exposed but this film does paint a clearer picture of its effect on one of the people directly affected by what went on in that house so many years ago.