The Amityville Horror (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Amityville Horror1979

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.

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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.

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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
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
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News & Interviews for The Amityville Horror

Critic Reviews for The Amityville Horror

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (8)

[The Amityville Horror] begins with the promising premise of a haunted house in the suburbs (poltergeists in the barbecue pit?) and quickly degenerates into a display of pretentious camera angles.

March 20, 2019 | Full Review…

The Amityville Horror is a horror. What is supposed to be the true story of a young couple driven from their dream house by demons turns out to be nothing more than a rip-off, and a tedious one at that.

March 20, 2019 | Full Review…

Its pacing is off, there are too many go-nowhere subplots, & it seems just to come to a clunking halt at the end [but] the film's lack of commitment to any single reading of its narrative architecture is precisely what makes it so uncanny.

June 26, 2017 | Full Review…

It's definitely a house that audiences will enjoy visiting, especially if unfamiliar with the ending.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Tautly directed, but the thin material, and a dreadfully hammy priest from Steiger, effectively wreck what little suspense remains.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

Mr. Steiger bellows and weeps and overdoes absolutely everything. He won't even pick up the phone before it's rung 12 or 15 times.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Amityville Horror

This incredibly dull horror movie is nothing but an awfully concocted series of bizarre events that have no relation between one another, aiming at the cheap scares without hardly ever being scary and relying on an illogical plot and poorly-developed characters.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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

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