This Day in Horror History: THE AMITYVILLE HORROR Was Released in 1979
On this day in horror history, Stuart Rosenberg’s The Amityville Horror with James Brolin, Rod Steiger, and Margot Kidder was released in 1979.
Based on the book by Jay Anson, it’s based on the alleged experiences of the Lutz family who are terrorized by supernatural forces when they move into a new house in New York State which was the scene of a recent mass killing and the home of an 18th-century satanist. When swarms of flies appear from nowhere and the pipes and walls begin to ooze slime and blood, they call on a local priest to exorcise the evil spirits.
It was a major commercial success, grossing over $80M domestic and becoming one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time. It received mostly negative reviews from critics but was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score by composer Lalo Schifrin, while Kidder also earned a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress, and the film itself was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.
It also spawned a franchise featuring films like Amityville II: The Possession, Amityville 3-D, Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes, The Amityville Curse, Amityville: It’s About Time, Amityville: A New Generation, Amityville Dollhouse, and Franck Khalfoun’s Amityville: The Awakening.
Not to mention the 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Melissa George (Triangle), and Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia).
The film sports a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Dull and disappointing, the best that can be said for The Amityville Horror is that it set a low bar for its many sequels and remakes.