My Amityville Horror

My Amityville Horror is a 2013 documentary directed by Eric Walter, the founder of The Amityville Files. Here is a brief recap of the Amityville Horror, for the innocent: it refers to the house where Ronald DeFeo murdered his family in 1974. George and Kathleen Lutz and her three children moved into that selfsame house a year afterwards and fled twenty-eight days later claiming their former abode was full of poltergeists and demons, including a devil pig with laser beam eyes.

The Lutz family’s story spawned a bestselling book, a movie starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder featuring the most awkward love scene in the history of cinema and a number of sequels, each worst than the last. I will not go into the truthfulness of the Lutz family’s claims except to say that when I bought a copy of The Amityville Horror a week or so ago, it was shelved under Horror Fiction. The book itself, which shows every sign of being written in great haste, contradicts itself and has trouble keeping its facts straight.

The subject of My Amityville Horror is Daniel Lutz, the eldest son. Mr. Lutz, now in his early fifties, is intense. Parts of his story are unbelievable. Besides seeing the devil pig and having his hands crushed by a runaway window (don’t worry, his hands got better), he himself was possessed by the entities inhabiting the house. We also learn that his stepfather, George Lutz, was well read in Satanism, practicing transcendental meditation (?!?!), mind-control and telekinesis. After his mother and stepfather went on tour they left Dan behind with the priests, who beat him and repeatedly tried to exorcise him. When his parents came back, he didn’t have a lot to say to them.

The scariest part of My Amityville Horror is hearing Mr. Lutz talk about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather, whom he loathes. Most of the people in this documentary are true believers, although when Mr. Lutz visits Lorraine Warren (see: The Conjuring!) and admires her caged roosters he seems to have trouble keeping a straight face.

Many parts of Mr. Lutz’s story are unbelievable, but he is absolutely truthful on one topic. When he tells an interviewer that he’s smiling because his stepfather’s dead and he’s a free man, I believed him.

My Amityville Horror is available on Hulu Plus.

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