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THE AMITYVILLE HORROR

About The Production
The original The Amityville Horror achieved staggering success on many levels after its wildly successful opening on July 16, 1979. Audiences were horrified by the story, based on the true-life account of the 28 days that George and Kathy Lutz lived at 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island, New York, in 1974. Starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder, the film was a blockbuster hit, grossing $86.4 million domestically and establishing itself as a cult classic endeared and loved by legions of horror fans around the world. The Amityville Horror's original score was nominated for an Academy Award®, and the film has entered into the iconography of popular culture by way of its main character, a menacing Dutch Colonial house whose evil pair of jack o'lantern "eyes” is forever etched in the minds of movie audiences. George Lutz's account of what happened during his family's brief encounter with the legendary residence is often considered one of the greatest haunted house stories of all time.

Hot off the success of 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Platinum Dunes producers Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller signed a first-look deal with Dimension Films. In keeping with the company's mantra of developing and producing modestly budgeted horror and thriller films, the trio began searching for their next project.

"After Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we looked at what audiences responded to in the marketing of that film,” says producer Form. "What we found was that people were most frightened by the fact that it was inspired by a true story.”

"Horror is a very visceral emotional response,” adds Fuller. "Its power is magnified when audiences believe what they're seeing onscreen could actually happen to them. Horror films based in reality strike a much deeper chord and tend to linger in the minds of movie audiences long after they have left the theater.”

That dynamic became the inspiration for the filmmakers to remake The Amityville Horror.

"The new material we'd been receiving didn't strike a chord with us, so we began looking at older films that were inspired by real events or people,” says Form. "I grew up on Long Island ten minutes away from Amityville and remember driving by the house in the middle of the night with my friends and being scared out of my mind.”

He continues, "The Amityville Horror book sold ten million copies. No one can dispute that Ronald DeFeo, Jr., woke up in the middle of the night and murdered his six family members, and it became an enormous debate on how a man could shoot eight rounds from a Marlin rifle, which can be heard miles away, and not have one person in the house or a neighbor wake up.”

With several unsuccessful sequels produced throughout the years, the filmmakers felt they needed to go back to Jay Anson's book and keep the film based on the actual events that took place before and after George and Kathy Lutz moved in. "The Amityville Horror book contained a lot of great material that never made it into the original film,” says Fuller. "We all felt that if we researched the case extensively and spoke with as many people connected to the actual events as possible, we could make a terrifying movie of what really happened to George and Kathy Lutz.”

As with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the filmmakers were extremely cognizant of the challenges and pitfalls of remaking a successful horror film, one that has been the subject for debate for many years.

"The bi

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