In late 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the same house. Just 28 days later, they moved out, claiming that they had been witness to several terrifying, unexplained phenomena.
Their account became the basis for Jay Anson’s book, The Amityville Horror, and that book lit the touch paper on a series of ten films over the last thirty five years.
And that’s about to be eleven.
Producer Tony DeRosa-Grund has acquired some video footage of a seance carried out in the house in 1976 and he’s going to use this material as the basis for a new feature film.
The seance was filmed for a report on the local news, but also recorded for the local radio station. That particular report was produced by Michael Linder, later one of the creators of America’s Most Wanted.
Linder has more recently given a pretty good account of what went down, including some surprising knocks and taps on the doors and windows – and amusing explanations for what those knocks and taps actually were. And here’s the key bit of the story:
There was nothing the least bit spooky. Once you got familiar with the house – once you had been in it for 5 or 6 hours – the net effect was that it became far less scary the more you learned about it.
Of course. Though I’m sure that this won’t be the conclusion of the new film. Instead of Linder’s sceptical report, the film is to be based upon accounts by Laura DiDio and Marvin Scott.
The Hollywood Reporter quote DeRosa-Grund as calling this new project:
he true prequel to the Amityville horror.
And Didio says:
I am the only person who has the ability to tell the true Amityville prequel story in its entirety.
Well, let’s stop them at prequel. This seance took place in 1976 – after the Lutzes moved in and moved out; after the De Feo murders. How is this a prequel?
Because it’s part of the sales package that it’s a prequel. Because 1976 is before 1977, when the first film will made.
I don’t see any credibility to this enterprise at all. Maybe they’ll get a great writer and a great director and they’ll make a great film, but presenting this as having anything to do with fact?
It’s obvious to me that they’re not interested in facts at all.
Here’s a trailer for My Amityville Horror, a 2010 documentary featuring George Lutz’s son, Daniel. I’ve not seen it, though I’m told Daniel disputes his father’s portrayal of events.
The film features Laura Didio, and might be a good indication of the story she’s selling with this prequel movie too.
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