If you speak to anyone who actually lives in and around the town of Amityville in Long Island, New York, they'll laugh upon any mention of the Amityville horror house. They'll laugh because they know the story of that family who claim the house was haunted back in the late '70s was just a hoax. A complete fabrication. Yet somehow Hollywood has managed to cough up 10 films about this story, which to this day they still claim is based on real-life events. Ten films, with another one on the way.
This time they're going found-footage style with a film that will center on the experiences of two New York reporters who investigated the ghostly presence for a news report after the family fled the house. They claim to be the only people who have "the ability to tell the true Amityville prequel story in its entirety," including information on evil in the house that existed before the Lutz family moved in.
Eh, I call bullsh*t. What this looks like is just another person somehow connected to the original story that wants to cash in on it, like so many others have done previously. Furthermore, the footage these reporters claim to have from the original news story -- footage they say proves there was a haunting -- won't even be used in the movie. Instead, it's being used as the basis for their story, which no doubt means they'll take it and Hollywood-ize the hell out of it, adding all sorts of nonsense that never happened to a story that never happened to begin with. And all the town of Amityville gets out of it are more people clogging up the poor street this house still sits on, as fans stop to gawk at a house that has seen no such ghostly hauntings since the Lutz family first spun their wacky yarn back in 1975.
The Amityville story I want to see -- the one that's most interesting to me -- is a film that focuses solely on the Lutz family. Or, more specifically, George Lutz, as he's the one who orchestrated this whole thing. A recent documentary came close. Called My Amityville Horror, the doc actually secured a member of the Lutz family, Daniel Lutz, who was 9 years old when all this stuff went down. But instead of asking the hard questions and really digging into his family's history, the film just scratches the surface and is sort of afraid to go after Lutz and challenge his family's story, as most of the time it seems like Lutz is just hamming it up for the camera, reciting a tale he probably remembers more from the movies than he does his own life.
There has to come a point when enough is enough. Aren't there other families out there who claim to have been harassed by ghosts? Aren't there other stories to tell? What is it about the Amityville story -- one that's had many holes poked through it over the years -- that we still keep going back to knowing full well that it was most likely a hoax? Who knows. Maybe the only real horror lies in the story of those who've owned the house in the years since the Lutz family.
Here's an old news report featuring the family who bought the house after the Lutz clan moved out. Now these are the folks I really feel bad for. Other than the murders that occurred in the house in 1974, this is probably as close as you're going to get to the real Amityville horror.
And here's an interesting documentary from The History Channel called Amityville: Horror or Hoax that takes a closer look at what really happened back in 1976.
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