Vampire-slaying Ryan Reynolds has poked his head back into horror with his usual sweet stage presence in Hollywood's latest and greatest "re-visioning" of "The Amityville Horror." Not only is Reynolds oh-so-fun to watch, he's married to the oh-so-talented Aussie Melissa George. Name doesn't ring a bell? Her roles in "Mulholland Drive" and "Dark City" surely must.
Reynolds and George star as George and Kathy Lutz, a newly married couple with three children left over from Kathy's first marriage. The five have been living quite the rewarding life lately, and it's time for them to strive for that next step in their stretch toward the American dream: buy a massively ridiculous house in the country side for a breathtakingly cheap price.
Now, if a real estate lady is hesitant about checking out the basement with you and proceeds to tell you that not five years ago a family of six was shotgun-blasted in their sleep by an eldest son claiming the house ordered him to do it, would you still splurge?
But no murderous history is too morbid for this strong family of five; they snatch up the place and make it their home in no time, but it's too bad they didn't listen to the wise old woman's tale of treachery. This house is no mansion to mess with. Not only does George go absolutely nutty, but their daughter Chelsea meets a new imaginary friend, Jody. Is it a coincidence this was the name of the little girl slain in the shotgun frenzy years ago? A sarcastic "Hmmmm" is the only answer to that.
Andrew Douglas put himself on the map in a big way this weekend with this one. Having only directed a documentary two years ago, Douglas seems to have given producers a new face to shovel money into. This latest attempt at "Amityville" greatness dishes out the blood and guts in an awesome way, making an hour and 40 minutes feel too fast. Reynolds does a great job portraying George, letting the house creep into every dark corner of his demeanor.
His character shift seems real sudden at times in the movie, as he comes and goes from the house, but then again, if this shack is as haunted as they say, anything can happen, right? As far as creepy kids go, Chelsea's got that one nailed, filling your soul with the willies on more than a couple occasions.
Thank you, Movie Gods, for blowing that dark cloud that's been hovering over movie theaters worldwide and delivering a gleaming glow of horrified goodness.
Definitely worth a once over, this "Amityville" makes for quite the entertaining afternoon. However, you'll want to make sure you're not in your seat for the steamy love scene; it's quite possibly the biggest buzz kill you'll never want to see.
3 out of 4 ramheads