Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Amityville Horror (1979, Stuart Rosenberg)


I haven’t read the book or looked into the story itself, yet regardless The Amityville Horror is a well made and creepy haunted house movie from the golden age of horror. Despite being made at the end of the decade it is still a classic and features many hallmarks of that cinema period. The cast for this is great, too, with James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger and even Murray Hamilton. This helps to sell some of the movie’s more outrageous moments.

I’m reminded of The Omen where the fantastic is based in enough realism for it to be plausible. Brolin and Kidder have good chemistry together and Steiger adds gravitas as the priest who tries to bless their home. I liked how the film used quiet moments to lure the viewer into a false sense of calm, particularly right before some weird or frightening happens.

Even though I feel this movie is a tad dated, I still really liked it. The Amityville Horror is considered one of the essential US horror films for good reason, and it helped to establish numerous genre cliches. I heard that the sequels are insane and this I must see them, too. Oh and I loved the house that was the film’s setting-that massive old thing was a character all on its own.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: American Gothic (1988, John Hough)


American Gothic is a dumb, brutal, nasty movie that has a bunch of characters who exist to die horribly. Rod Steiger and Yvonne De Carlo did this movie for the money, and Michael J. Pollard is in this too because why not? Might as well have a trio of distinguished actors stuck in what was mostly likely a low budget production. However, the last act is more interesting than the entire rest of the movie, and Steiger does give a good performance.

Sarah Torgov was a solid final girl, too, and she manages to turn the tables on her captors. I didn’t hate this movie, however it is not a particularly good slasher film. American Gothic is mostly an ok film at best, and I think that seems to be true for way too many movies in general. I sure watch a lot of forgettable movies every year.

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