The Amityville Horror

Rated 1.0

The new owners of a house on Long Island (Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George) are besieged by the same evil spirits that forced a previous occupant to slaughter his entire family. “Based on the true story,” it says, but whatever the truth of Jay Anson’s original 1977 book (I suspect an Exorcist-inspired hoax, myself), Scott Kosar’s script for this go-round is pure fiction. And it’s none too creative, either, with huge chunks stuffed in from The Ring, The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Sixth Sense, Poltergeist—you name it, and it’s there somewhere. Director Andrew Douglas (whose only other credit is a 2003 festival-circuit documentary) hammers out the cheap scares with mechanical but lifeless efficiency, while Reynolds and George go through the motions with all the conviction they can muster.