Written and Directed by: Eric Walter
Featuring: Daniel Lutz, Laura DiDio, Neme Alperstein, Susan Bartell
Okay, don't roll your eyes quite yet. My Amityville Horror is not another silly Amityville sequel. It is actually a documentary on one of the family members that lived in the real Amityville house.
The film follows Daniel Lutz as he recounts his memories of living in the notorious Amityville house in the early 1970s. His family became famous at the time going around the country recounting the haunting events that were supposed to have taken place in that simple upper-middle-class home. Their story inspired a best-selling novel and then a blockbuster film (plus many forgettable sequels).
Daniel, who was just a young boy at the time, had never really talked publicly about the events until he agreed to do this documentary. Regardless of whether the hauntings took place or not, his stepfather was the architect of the Amityville mythology and the public's fascination with their home. His stepfather and, to a lesser degree, his mother were publicity hounds and loved the spotlight that the haunting gave them. What makes Daniel different than his family is that until now he shunned the spotlight and was reluctant to speak about it.
Daniel's parents are now dead and his other sibling didn't agree to be in the documentary, so besides Daniel's recollection of events, there isn't much else to go by. On one level, his participation finally gives us some unique insight into what may have happened during that era — but it's just one perspective. Something that becomes abundantly clear in the documentary is that Daniel has a real hatred to his stepfather. Clearly, Daniel's recollection of haunted events are closely linked to mental abuse that he suffered at the hands of his strict stepfather, and that is the real horror in the house. It seems quite apparent that he was affected by his stepfather's abuse and that may or may not have clouded his memory and judgment of the time period. So there is no question, in this writer's opinion, that he genuinely believes what happened to him really happened to him, but whether these supernatural events actually happened is debatable.
In the end, My Amityville Horror is less about a haunted house and more about a traumatized man who has never really come to terms with his troubled childhood. Besides Daniel, we have interviews with the press that covered the story and even a few psychics who were brought in to help, but its not enough information to give a well-rounded account to what happened.
The psychological scars Daniel carries are indisputable, but his belief in what he thinks happened to him from a paranormal perspective is frankly quite sad and not very convincing. In the end, it's Daniel's story and if you don't buy his take on what happened, then there isn't really many places for this documentary to go.
Director Eric Walter does the best he can with material he has but unfortunately there isn't much of a foundation to the house in Amityville.
Sounds like his parents were like everyone who reports a haunting. On that show Ghost Hunters they even "certify" that a business, etc is haunted to help drive up tourism for the place.
Ghosts are big business, even though they are not real.
" I grant, at least, that there are two distinct conditions of my mental existence -- the condition of a lucid reason, not to be disputed, and belonging to the memory of events forming the first epoch of my life -- and a condition of shadow and doubt, appertaining to the present, and to the recollection of what constitutes the second great era of my being. Therefore, what I shall tell of the earlier period, believe; and to what I may relate of the later time, give only such credit as may seem due, or doubt it altogether, or, if doubt it ye cannot, then play unto its riddle the Oedipus. " - Eleonora, Edgar Allen Poe