And, to some degrees, I'm glad I did.
Not because it was a good movie. Because, quite frankly, it wasn't. If anything it was an attempt at taking "Poltergeist" and "The Shining" and mashing it together with some of the general plot points from the book written by Jay Anson.
Not because it completely ignored the time of year for when the events supposedly happened in order to have way too many scenes of Ryan Reynolds shirtless.
But the reason I'm glad is....oh, hell, you're going to have to listen to episode 135 to find out why I'm glad I watched this film. But that reason is the ONLY reason I'm glad I watched this film because, quite frankly, this film sucked.
For those who don't know the general premise, it's this:
The Lutz family (George and Kathy, and Kathy's three children from her first marriage named Billy, Michael and Chelsea), move into 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, NY. But what they don't know is that the former occupants, the Defeo family, were all slaughtered by their son, Ronnie. And Ronnie blames it on the voices he heard in the house telling him they were all demons.
Over the course of 28 days, the Lutzes become increasingly afraid of the forces in their home that continuously manifest themselves in more and more aggressive ways. Until they eventually flee the house, never to return and without their belongings.
Now, as I said, this film tries to mash up that story with others, such as The Shining and Poltergeist, both of which are other podcasts.
With the first it's in how this film turns George, who was original a victim like everyone else, into the conduit through which the house terrorizes the family. He becomes increasing violent, practically torturing Kathy's oldest son.
With the second it's in how the house doesn't just have evil spirits (which was the original premise). Instead it now has a specific spirit, and at that a person named "Jack Ketcham" (which is the basis for the tagline "Katch'em, Kill'em"). Ketcham was a 17th century person who tortured the native americans and then killed himself on that site in order to live forever.
Yeah, I was thinking, "What?" too when that was revealed in the story. And it sucked. Especially since, in order to explain that on-site torturing, this film took the idea of the "red room" (a supposedly undocumented, blood colored room in the basement that George discovers, which was maybe 4'x5') and turned it into this HUGE abattoir with torture tables and grooves for channeling blood and more.
On the scare front, this film did have a few good jump scares. In particular one scene when the youngest son, Michael, runs into the bathroom in the middle of the night. He's frightened, but he's GOT TO GO! And when that scene played out I jumped out and nearly pissed myself as well.
Another scene had her on the roof, but it was less believable to me, even if it was no less a punch in the gut.
And there's an underlying story about a soul trapped in the house. Not Ketcham, but the Defeo's youngest daughter, Jodie (who is completely made up for this film, since the Defeo's had no such daughter). The name, by the way, was the one supposedly given to the shape-shifting pig in the by the real Lutz's daughter, Missy. She's trapped and is trying to get Chelsea to kill herself so Jodie will have a playmate for eternity.
While a sad story, it just was too different from the original story for my tastes. In the original story, the daughter was befriended by a pig, which of courses was a demon. And it was the demons piggish red eyes in the dark and in the window that was the most horrifying.
And those changes, which pretty much uprooted the whole story and created a totally different one with some character names in common, that ruined this film for me. The original film I thought was good, and the book was terrifying. But this film? Not really worth your time (unless you want to see Ryan Reynolds shirtless chopping wood, shirtless diving into freezing water or shirtless in a bath tub). And on our buy it, borrow it or don't bother scale, I'm going to have to rate "The Amityville Horror" (2005) a don't bother.
Even if they hadn't tried to leverage the "Amityville Horror" name, this film was just nothing new or interesting. Even the malevolence wasn't that. But I still felt bad for the dead little girl trapped in the house...