I did something interesting recently. I went back and reread The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, something that I haven’t done in a number of years. As a kid, I couldn’t put the book down, and as many people who are interested in this topic have, I went about doing my own research into the story. And now, many years later, I’m sitting in post-production on the very documentary that I, as a fellow Amityville enthusiast, have been waiting to see: testimony from someone other than George and Kathy Lutz about their experiences inside the house. But, not just that – an examination of the psychological effects this story has had on Daniel Lutz’s life.
It was interesting revisiting Jay Anson’s book. His retelling of the Lutzes’ haunting claims is, without a doubt, the most effective account ever put into print, despite the multitude of books and films on the subject. Sadly though, I have to wonder why George and Kathy would have allowed the book to be fictionalized to such a degree if they were so concerned, as the book states, “that too much was being overstated and exaggerated.”
From its very outset, the Lutzes’ story was tainted by the media and its apparent hunger to sensationalize their experiences. On the heels of another recently announced Amityville film, The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes, which curiously seems to mimic Laura DiDio’s role in the case, it seems no one is safe from the Amityville machine.
The real Amityville Horror isn’t just what has happened in the past, but how it has continued to manifest itself in the present. Did any of it really happen? I feel the real story here is one that has never been told. It’s that gray area. It’s a story about the dynamics within the Lutz family at the time. In the end, the ghost stories are just that – stories. No one can confirm or deny their veracity. But, there’s no question these events, hoax or not, had an enormous impact on each member of the Lutz family in different ways. That’s what I’m interested in and that’s exactly what I believe will set this documentary apart from competing material.