In 1975 the Lutz family moved into 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. 28 days later the family of five fled the property claiming to have been terrorised by paranormal phenomena. The events have spawned endless headlines, a book, and ten feature films. What actually happened during those four weeks is constantly under debate. Was it a hoax? Was it a haunting? My Amityville Horror does not attempt to answer these questions instead presenting a character study of Daniel Lutz, the family’s eldest son, as he speaks about the events for the first time.
The documentary mostly comprises of conversations with Daniel interspersed with the occasional word from an expert or a figure involved in investigating the events at the time. On the whole though this is Daniel Lutz’s film and he is allowed to tell his story in his own words. What surprised me is that Daniel supports the claims that the family were attacked by the paranormal and even suggests that supernatural influences were around both before and after the short stay in Amityville. It is up to the viewer to decide whether or not they believe Daniel, to read between the lines as a man talks about what was an undeniably troubled childhood.
My Amityville Horror is a powerful examination of a fascinating character that lays no judgement upon its subject. For my money I believe that Daniel is saying what he believes to be true, but the fact that he answers to the names his character was given in the various films says a lot on how the rumours have affected his perception of his own childhood.
For anyone with a passing interest in the events of Amityville or in human psychology My Amityville Horror is a fascinating watch.