Oh, boy... a remake of a lousy movie based on a hoax... and starring the guy who helped make BLADE:TRINITY the worst pile of 2004! Can't wait! Can't wait! 

Whoops... did I speak too soon? 

Okay--you heard it here first. The new AMITYVILLE HORROR is one of those few remakes that is easily better than the original. 

Now, of course, you just read that I thought the original was lousy. It worked for me ONE time when it first popped up on HBO. Then when I tried to watch it again, it bored me to tears. Then the story was exposed as a hoax (not that I was a "true believer" to begin with). But still... AMITYVILLE this and AMITYVILLE that kept dropping into my collection (got four of them for free from a store that was going out of business, so what the hell?). 

Watched the original again last night. It's still excruciatingly boring and impossibly overlong. Then I watched AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION (and yes, I'm gonna get to the rest of them later). What's up with THAT one? The idea that it's a prequel depicting the original murders doesn't hold water--this sure as hell wasn't set in 1974! 80's cars, a possessed Sony Walkman... nope--they made this one up, too, and just based it ever so slightly on the original murders (there was even one less family member to deal with in the movie!). It's also overlong--but it does have some effectively nasty business that I'll credit it with nonetheless. 

Well... too late to marathon everything from 3-D to DOLLHOUSE, so it's off to the remake. And this is certainly chunkier than anything that the pathetic original had to offer--but that's not the point I'm getting to. 

My point is that if this new AMITYVILLE HORROR is a send-up (and I think it IS), then it's a pretty clever one. In any event, it's better than SCARY MOVIE 2 and 3 put together. 

If the stoner babysitter doesn't convince you, then how 'bout a scene in which the twelve-year-old is trusted to watch his younger siblings? "May I go upstairs and get my dolly?" asks the little sister. "Sure," big brother replies, "but don't tell Mom and Dad--they'd kill me if I let you out of my sight for a second." So when Mom and Dad get home? There's little Chelsea doing a balancing beam act on the roof!! You KNOW that nothing's actually going to HAPPEN to her, so this becomes a slapstick scene--and the only thing that's missing is the circus music! And right afterwards? James Brolin only chopped wood and glared at his family, but Ryan Reynolds? "Now, put your hands on the log... and hold still!" 

Then they throw some genuinely unpleasant stuff in to keep you from laughing too hard... but don't worry--the spoof kicks in again before too long. "If he says 'Here's Johnny!,' I'm out of here," I heard myself saying. 

This can't be an accident. The real-life George and Kathy Lutz are so wrapped up in their bullshit "true story" that they couldn't possibly care less how many details get changed between adaptations... and George apparently doesn't mind seeing himself depicted as a raving fruitcake loon after twenty years. 

Those of us who know what's what are invited to join in this very deliberate parody--and the bullet is aimed squarely at the forehead of anyone who's still buying into this "Amityville" dookey after all this time. 

Over in out in less than ninety minutes, too! This remake corrects each and every thing that was wrong with the original... which can be summed up in how bloody seriously it took itself. 

Go have fun.

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