Parents' Guide to

The Amityville Horror

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

'70s horror movie hasn't aged well; violence and peril.

Movie R 1979 117 minutes
The Amityville Horror Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

A blank horror!

Based upon true events. Classic horror with lots of killing and gore with some cheap made parts. Suitable for a Halloween horror night with 1970's themed movies.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (6 ):

While probably scary for its time, this horror film hasn't aged well. Many of the attempts at scares or suspense feel forced or have become common horror movie tropes by this point. The gratuitousness of it all is as cheesy as the dated special effects. Viewed decades later, The Amityville Horror comes off in style and tone as a pale imitation of the "true story" premise of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, of the religious overtones of The Exorcist, and of the descent of a father into madness in The Shining (and there's even a scene where the father uses an ax to break down a door).

Despite all the forced moments shoehorned in to keep the audience at the edge of their seats, the last 15 minutes manage to generate enough action and uncertainty to at least provide a satisfying and entertaining conclusion. But the journey to get there is so filled with side stories that don't really go anywhere, main storylines that fizzle out or don't get resolved, and overall inconsistency, it's hard to enjoy this beyond the cheese-appeal of a '70s horror movie enjoyed as a pop culture relic.

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