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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(1979), R [R*]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): American International Pictures (AIP), A Cinema 77 film, Professional Films, Inc. Production
Distribution (US): American International Pictures (AIP), MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc. (DVD, VHS), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) (video), GoodTimes Home Video (video), Vestron Video (laserdisc), Warner Bros. (video)
Director(s): Stuart Rosenberg
Producer(s): Samuel Z. Arkoff, Elliot Geisinger, Ronald Saland
Written by: Jay Anson (book)
Screenplay: Sandor Stern
Director of Photography: Fred J. Koenekamp
Camera: MIcheal Benson, Edward Morey III
Music: Lalo Schifrin
Film Editing: Robert Brown, Jr.
Casting: Jane Feinberg, Mike Fenton, Judy Taylor
Art Direction: Kim Swados
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
With a final score of 36 the 1979 R-rated The Amityville Horror, made long before the CAP analysis model was ever thought of, rather confirmed the CAP analysis model. The 1979 The Amityville Horror was Rosenberg's competition for Friedken's 1973 The Exorcist which has been hailed to be the scariest movie ever. The Amityville Horror of 1979 gave the then six year old The Exorcist a frightful run for its money, maybe even beating The Exorcist out of its coveted title as the scariest movie ever.
In almost every film of evil there is somebody serving the evil. But not this one. There is no evil guy or gal. There is just evil. An evil presence that can say "get out -- GET OUT" without a mouth, can splinter doors, can cause people to get sick, can set off a dog and make a man grow cold and give his wife a bloody nose.
George Lutz (James Brolin) relocated his family and business to the quaint and quiet town of Amityville, Long Island with the help of his previously married wife, Kathy (Margot Kidder) and her kids, Amy (Natasha Ryan), Matthew (Meeno Peluce) and Gregory (K.C. Martel). They moved into their first house in Amityville.
The house the Lutz moved into was a nice modest home bordering on mid-19th century opulence. But that opulence had a demon in its closets. One year earlier a deranged father that looked identical to George shot and killed his wife, his four kids and himself in that house. It seems the cowardly deed of the deranged father gave the house a bad attitude. Or was it the house that gave the deranged father a bad attitude. From wherever the bad attitude came, it had a mind of its own and set out to convince the Lutzes to leave.
On the first of 21 days in the house strange voices were heard. Evil introduced itself to house occupants by causing insects to do its bidding, opening and closing doors and causing illness to a priest, Father Frank Delaney (Rod Steiger) who was there to bless the house. During the following days ... and nights ... a couple other odd and inexplicable events began to pester the idyllic family trying to make a go of it in Amityville, in their first house.
On the fourth day George's character and attitude started to change for the worse. Amy found an imaginary friend, Jody, who was not visible to anyone but Amy. Jody did not like Amy's stepfather, George. George did seem to begin becoming bitter and vengeful, as if the deranged killer of children who looked identical to George was possessing George. On the fifth night George's hatefulness increased and the nightmares began. George and Kathy began to notice a turn for the worse in George's health, too. On the sixth day George's feelings of being cold began and his illness increased, his bitterness sharpened and his abusive language started.
Around the 11th day in the house, Amy's obsession with Jody grew stronger and more possessive, or Jody's influence over Amy became stronger and more possessive. As days marched on, evil began to become more obvious and bold. When Kathy entered Amy's room one night Amy told Kathy that Kathy had scared Jody out through her window. Kathy was horrified as she saw two red, glowing eyes just outside Amy's bedroom window as the background music shrieked out a triplet of horror. Through all this, evil was portrayed as being increasingly able to manipulate the real world such as interfering with telephone communications and other routine matters of daily life, including a car's brakes. And people. Especially Father Delaney who grew more and more ill.
Around the 17th day George had a nightmare about axe murdering first Amy then Kathy. George manufactured increasingly lunatic lies to Kathy to excuse his worsening aberrant behavior. George also gave Kathy a bloody nose with his fist as she pried into George's worsening behavior and attitude. George started becoming physically cold. House doors were explosively splintered from the inside. And a snare drummer beat out its military cadence, drawing George into the living room ... until his entry into the room silenced it.
Matters darkened significantly from there. The house, built over a gateway to Hell, started bleeding. Black slime overflowed from the commodes. George was nearly drowned in a pit filled with the black slime. And on the last night there, a hulking figure was seen from a distance behind a window of the house as the Lutzes drove away.
The Amityville Horror (1979) was a trend setter before its time. It was clearly equivalent to the caliber of many modern horror films, not necessarily in extremes as much as in volumes. By the way, this is "based on a true story."
What was true about the film was the co-stripping for sex, clothed intercourse, upper female nudity and adults in underwear. [Rev. 21:8] Many portrayals of evil being able to manipulate and control the living and life such as controlling insects, making people ill, making the temperature cold but only for specific people and destroying inanimate objects. Even controlling people. [Phil. 4:8] Graphic gunfire murders introduce the viewer to the film with the obligatory flashback repeats of the murders. [1 Cor. 15:33]
Foul language, though not used as flippantly arrogant as do most filmmakers of today, was present with 20 uses, once by an adolescent. [Prov. 22:11, Luke 17:2, Matt. 18:10, Is. 2:17] God's name is used in vain both with and without the four letter expletive.
Most responsible for the final score of 36 was the programing found by the Offense to God (O) investigation area. There is portrayal of much evil in this film. [1 Thess. 5:22]
Note that this film is rated R for a reason. It was rated R way back when the MPAA ratings meant something, before all the accusations that an MPAA rating can be bought. Just because The Amityville Horror (1979) is old and we have "matured" in our entertainment diet and have become so drugged by the narcotics of extremes that what once was morally unacceptable is now morally invisible, it is not a toy or a child's plaything, folks. It presents some of the most realistic portrayals of evil capable of the clearly superior thespian talents, limited in comparison only by the technology of the day. Though the technology of the 26 years ago was magnitudes less than today, it was quite capable of and effective in digging deep into the imagination to make its unreal statements seem real.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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