Film Review by Matt Gleason


My Amityville Horror

Where to start with this one. I suppose I should start by saying that I am from that generation that was likely most affected by the Amityville Horror phenomena. In 1976, when the story started becoming well known, I was a nine year old kid living in upstate NY. We had no internet, and at that age, skepticism is largely undeveloped. I first heard of Jodie the pig on the playground in the fifth grade and the story just stuck with me. I’ve read every scholarly account (and some not so scholarly) as well as watched all of the movies, documentaries etc. and quite frankly have just thought about this story for nearly all of my life.

I mention the above as simply a way of framing my thoughts. Over all of the time I’ve spent considering this case (really cases), I have never been able to shake the feeling that the somewhat cobbled together and newly minted Lutz family were genuine at that time and remain genuine today. I’ve considered all of the hoax evidence, all of the tongue wagging and finger pointing and have arrived at the conclusion that whatever happened to the Lutz family is something only they can truly understand. For those open to broader consideration, there is also a lot of available evidence demonstrating that the family were telling their truth.

Anyway, enough history. I have another website where I will break all of this down (eventually) but for now, I will focus on this film.

My Amityville Horror is a telling of events, seemingly from the hip, directly from the oldest Lutz son, Danny. My overall impression is that this man is absolutely forthright. The film takes the viewer through some of Daniel’s experiences, a visit with a psychologist, some discussion with Laura Didio (an original reporter from the time who spent time with the family) and then an interview/discussion with Lorraine Warren. One of the most interesting things, to me, was watching the interactions between these people who were actually there, in the time of the event. Many presume to ‘know’ that the story is a hoax without ever cracking a book, engaging in thought or considering an opposing viewpoint. This documentary is very raw, very frank and deals directly with many of the events that occurred from Daniel’s perspective.

My Amityville Horror is a very solid work from a perspective that many who are drawn to this case have been waiting years to hear. I absolutely support this documentary and would highly recommend it. I should also commend Eric Walter for conceiving of this idea and convincing Daniel Lutz to participate. I have an idea that it was no easy task.

I think the public is generally more comfortable with the idea that stories like this (not that there are that many genuine ones) are hoaxed and/or serve as a money making vehicle. In my view, the people involved must be part of the equation. Remember, the Lutzes took polygraphs and passed. It’s possible for one person to fool the device but two (or more) telling the same ‘lie’ would likely not be successful. Thoughts for a different forum.

Watch it, you won’t be sorry. You can purchase the DVD right here.

Some other stuff:

There used to be a podcast called Ghostly Talk (since shut down) who did a really fascinating interview with George Lutz:
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

My new friend Ryan Kraus from Cold Case Murder Mysteries podcast has done a mind boggling analysis of the DeFeo case available here.

If lively discussion about all things Amityville Horror suits your taste, try the Amityville FAQ

And finally, the film director, Eric Walter has a great website with a lot of documents over at Amityville Files