There are certain genre franchises that never seem to go away, and the Amityville Horror series is one of them. Here's hoping the new one is a return to form.
It's been a little over a year since we last saw a movie based around that infamous house on Long Island's South Shore — Amityville: The Awakening, which saw a brief theatrical run in October 2017 — and amazingly enough, we didn't get one in 2018. But not to worry, 2019 will bring us The Amityville Murders, which will be the 21st (!) motion picture to feature the name "Amityville" in the title.
According to Collider, The Amityville Murders goes back to where it all began: the grisly 1974 killings of six members of the DeFeo family by 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr., the clan's oldest child, while they slept in the Amityville house. DeFeo later claimed that demonic voices in his head ordered him to slaughter his entire family.
The house was sold the following year to the Lutz family, but as recounted in the original 1977 book and 1979 movie The Amityville Horror, George and Kathy Lutz and their three kids fled the dwelling after 28 days, insisting that the place was haunted.
Based on the first trailer, which has just turned up online, The Amityville Murders dives deep into the supernatural explanation for the DeFeo killings, rather than any sort of psychological or true-crime angle:
The story of the DeFeos has been told before onscreen and in books, most notably in the first sequel, 1982's Amityville II: The Possession (where the family name was changed). It's admittedly difficult to gauge what kind of new insight or storyline can be squeezed out of what remains a terrible episode (Ronald DeFeo Jr. himself is still alive and serving six concurrent life sentences for the murders). But just the "Amityville" brand itself seems to be enough to keep luring in viewers, so here we go again.
We're not entirely sure if this is the movie that was announced back in July 2017 as 1974, with Eli Roth producing and Casey La Scala directing, but the movie that's coming out early next year is written and directed by Daniel Farrands. He wrote Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers back in 1995, and his upcoming projects also include The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and The Haunting of Sharon Tate, which kind of shows where his tastes lie.
The Amityville Murders stars John Robinson, Chelsea Ricketts, Diane Franklin, and Paul Ben-Victor. Skyline Films will release the movie in theaters, on VOD and Digital HD on Feb. 8, 2019.