The Amityville Horror (1979)




Critic Consensus: 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.

The Amityville Horror Videos

The Amityville Horror Photos

Movie Info

Supposed true story about George and Kathleen Lutz whose dream house turns into a nightmare. James Brolin and Margot Kidder are the unsuspecting new tenants of a house whose previous occupants had been murdered in their sleep. The Lutzes and their children are menaced by the lingering evil in this frightening ghost story.
R (Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexuality and drug use)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
American International Picture

Watch it now


James Brolin
as George Lutz
Margot Kidder
as Kathleen Lutz
Rod Steiger
as Father Delaney
Don Stroud
as Father Bolen
Helen Shaver
as Carolyn
Val Avery
as Sgt. Gionfriddo
Amy Wright
as Jackie
Murray Hamilton
as Fr. Ryan
John Larch
as Fr. Nuncio
Irene Dailey
as Aunt Helena
Elsa Raven
as Mrs. Townsend
Hank Garrett
as Bartender
James Tolkan
as Coroner
Carmine Foresta
as Cop at the House
Peter Maloney
as Newspaper Clerk
Michael Hawkins
as New York State Trooper
Richard Hughes
as 2nd New York State Trooper
Baxter Harris
as Cop #2 at the House
Michael Stearns
as Policeman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Amityville Horror

Critic Reviews for The Amityville Horror

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (2)

A pack of flies swarm all over Father Delaney -- then again, given Rod Steiger's howling performance as the priest, it could just be that the flies like reeking ham.

Full Review… | October 16, 2013
Creative Loafing

It was popular at the box-office, but was unremarkable as a horror film

Full Review… | May 4, 2011

An astonishing number of fumbled frissons

Full Review… | August 28, 2009

full review in Greek

Full Review… | October 3, 2006
Movies for the Masses

It once seemed creepy, but time has made it seem pretty contrived.

December 19, 2005

A middling horror entry from 1979 that's a masterpiece when compared to the dreadful 2005 remake.

August 31, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Audience Reviews for The Amityville Horror


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The Amityville Horror is really the perfect horror film for the horror rookie. I found the film pretty scary, but not too scary. It's not Exorcist scary. The film is pure old school shocks, and the film relies on atmosphere to create its terrifying pacing. The film is slow, but is necessary in establishing effective scares. Based on the "real" life story of how George and Kathleen Lutz bought a haunted house where a member of the previous family murdered his entire family, The Amityville Horror is yes a haunted house film. However the Lutz ordeal is of course bullshit and was conjured up to make a quick buck on the tragic murder that happened in that house. Anyhow, the new family moves in and strange things start to happen. The husband for one acts stranger, and becomes more violent. There are also other weird happening such an ordeal involving a babysitter where she is locked into the closet and is scared to death and that she can't get out. The Amityville Horror is a good haunted house film, but it's far from the best. For my money The Changeling with George C. Scott is a far more superior film. The Amityville Horror is terrifying, but when you read about the real happenings, it definitely makes it less scary. But for what it's worth, this is a film that people that are new to horror should check out. The film has about the right amount of scares to makes this film a not so unpleasant viewing experience to the horror beginner. The Amityville Horror definitely relies on its atmosphere to create the horror and eerie tone of the film. It works in some ways and in others it doesn't. But it does offer some decent enough entertainment, and decent enough scares. A good enough film for seasoned Horror buffs even if it doesn't have that many terrifying moments that one would expect from a film like this. If you want the most terrifying haunted house film, watch The Changeling. But if you want a film with enough decent scares to scare, but not in an Exorcist sort of way, then The Amityville Horror would be a good pick. A good film, even if it's not truly classic, it sure as hell doesn't feel like it.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

An incredibly dull horror movie that is nothing but a badly concocted series of bizarre events with no relation between one another. It goes for the cheap scares but is hardly ever scary, the characters are very poorly developed and the plot is illogical.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The Amityville Horror Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Amityville Horror on our Movie forum!

News & Features