This documentary was one of my most anticipated films at Fantasia Fest, having grown up with the Amityville Hauntings as horrific entertainment mostly understood through B Horror film retellings. I was extremely excited to see the world premiere and was very impressed by the film, it’s amazing character study and personal nature.
For the uninitiated, the Amityville Hauntings occurred in 1977 at 112 Ocean Avenue, when a newly moved in family experienced all kinds of paranormal activity effectively forcing them to flee the house. Not long prior to their moving into the home, in 1974, Ronald DeFeo murdered his entire family in the very same home. A crazy media circus began then and 112 Ocean Avenue became one of the most famous hauntings in America.
During the Q & A, Eric Walters, the very young director of the film, explained that he had been researching the Amityville Haunting for almost ten years, creating a website containing records and archives when Daniel Lutz contacted Walters because Lutz wanted to tell his side of the story. A lot of the film has the style of an old school detective’s interrogation/narration, with Daniel Lutz speaking to the camera. It is an interesting piece in terms of how it plays with the art of the documentary film. My Amityville Horror asks bold questions, shows difficult consequences to the effect of such phenomena on children, and ultimately makes the viewer question their own beliefs. I will definitely watch this film a few more times.