Blu-ray Review “The Amityville Horror Trilogy”

amityville-trioStarring: James Olson, Tony Roberts, James Brolin, Burt Young, Tess Harper, Margot Kidder
Directors: Damiano Damiani, Richard Fleischer, Stuart Rosenberg
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2013
Run Time: 316 minutes

The Amityville Horror: 4 out of 5 stars
The Amityville Horror Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Amityville II: The Possession: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Amityville II: The Possession Extras: 4 out of 5 stars
Amityville 3-D: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Amityville 3-D Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

Growing up living about 10 minutes from the real “Amityville” house. I have been exposed to the films and the events behind the films since I was a little kid. This series has always been a favorite of mine. Shout! Factory has really delivered a fantastic trilogy collection here with this release. “The Amityville Horror (1979)” is the only film of the three that has been released on Blu-ray prior. This marks the Blu-ray debuts for both “Amityville II: The Possession” and “Amityville 3-D”. And that’s right “Amityville 3-D” is actually presented in digital 3D, no anaglyph red/blue glasses. It really puts the recently released “Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection” to shame since they released “Friday the 13th: Part III in 3D” in that lame and out of date format. Shout! really catered to the fans here and really scored with this release. A must have for any fan, no question at all.

“The Amityville Horror (1979)” Official Premise: The Long Island colonial house on the river’s edge seemed perfect. Quaint, spacious and affordable, it was just what George and Kathy Lutz had been looking for. But looks can be deceiving…and their new dream home soon becomes a hellish nightmare as the walls begins to drip blood and satanic forces haunt them with sheer, unbridled evil. Now, with their lives – and their souls – in danger, the Lutzes must run as fast as they can from the home they once loved…or fall prey to its terrifying power. Starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Oscar-winner Rod Steiger, this bone-chilling, special-effects laden thriller will hit you where you live.

“Amityville II: The Possession” Official Premise: Before the residence at 112 Ocean Avenue became infamous in The Amityville Horror, its supernatural legacy of terror had already begun. Inspired by a true story, this chilling prequel is a bloodcurdling, special-effects-laden encounter with all-powerful, all-consuming evil. Although the Montellis are not exactly the “perfect family,” at least they’ve found the perfect home. And even though a liquid that looks like blood gushes from the kitchen faucet and every window has been nailed shut, it still qualifies as their dream house… until all hell breaks loose! A local priest tries to rid the house of unclean spirits, but what he doesn’t yet suspect is that teenage son Sonny Montelli has been possessed, body and soul, by a murderous demon bent on total destruction.

“Amityville 3-D” Official Premise: To debunk the Amityville house’s infamous reputation and take advantage of a rock-bottom asking price, skeptical journalist John Baxter (Roberts) buys the place and settles in to write his first novel. But as soon as the ink on the deed has dried, people who have come into contact with him-and the house-begin to meet with a shocking fate. Is it coincidence…or is this house really the gateway to hell? Packed with bone-chilling special effects, this third rendezvous with terror in Amityville stars Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark and Meg Ryan.

Each film comes with its own specs but all equally impressive. “The Amityville Horror (1979)” looks awesome as it has in the past on Blu-ray. The 1080p transfer is well done and comes presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The audio included are both a DTS-Master Audio 5.1 and DTS Master Audio Mono tracks. I have to go with the 5.1 track for sure. With “Amityville II: The Possession”, the 1080p transfer looks solid as well within its 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It only comes with a DTS Master Audio Mono track but it still works well. Lastly “Amityville 3-D” looks quite amazing with its 1080p transfer within an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The 3D presentation of this film is quite awesome in fact and really represented the way the film was meant to be seen. Very great job here for sure. The audio track is also a major score with its DTS-Master Audio 5.1 track, which is great.

The special features are pretty great on the first two films at least. For “The Amityville Horror (1979)”, there is a new interview with Composer Lalo Schifrin in “Haunted Melodies”. “For God’s Sake, Get Out!” is a documentary with interviews from James Brolin and Margot Kidder. There is an audio commentary track by Dr. Hans Holzer, PH.D. in Parapsychology (author of Murder in Amityville), it is a little more preachy than production technical but lover of Amityville will enjoy. Lastly there is an Original Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot and Radio Spots included.

Since this is the first time that “Amityville II: The Possession” is hitting Blu-ray, the extras are quite impressive. There is an interview with Director Damiano Damiani in “The Posession of Damiani”. There are also five new interviews included here. “Adapting Amityville” is a new interview with Screenwriter Tommy Lee Wallace. “Family Matters” – New Interview with Actress Diane Franklin (I just love her, so sweet). “A Mother’s Burden” is a new interview with Actress Rutanya Alda. “Father Tom’s Memories” is a new interview with Actor Andrew Prine. There is also a new interview with ghost hunter/author Alexandra Holzer, who authored “Growing up Haunted: A Ghostly Memoir” and also delivers a new audio commentary track as well. Lastly there is an Original Theatrical Trailer included.

Even though “Amityville 3-D” hits Blu-ray for the first time, the extras are not as impressive as the previous two films. There is only a Original Theatrical Trailer included for this film, which is quite disappointing. Of course, if you can consider the fact of the film being presented in both 2D and Blu-ray 3D presentation, then that can really make up for the lack of extras in my eyes, especially since this is the first time the way was released in 3D since the film was in theaters.

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