There have been so many Amityville related movies that keeping count is a real problem. The issue stems from the fact that anyone can attach the name Amityville to their movie and as long as they don’t use the world horror they won’t be sued.
This has meant an insane raft of attempts to cash in on a recognisable name even though the output has been so poor for so long. As of the beginning of 2018 there has been 19 movies with the Amityville name attached and there will be many more, no doubt.
A franchise that was born in 1979, it is predominately based around the infamous house, 112 Ocean Avenue in Amity, Long Island.
While all of the movies are works of fiction, it is based around a real horrific incident that occurred in the house in 1974. Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his father, mother, two brothers and two sisters as they slept.
DeFeo’s crimes are real and should not be understated. What followed though? Well, that’s the Amityville story that most know.
In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into 112 Ocean Avenue. 28 days later they left citing paranormal incidents as the reason. Their story was turned into a book that was published in 1977 and in 1979 we got the first film based off their supposed experiences.
A legendary story was born.
This definitive list is based off our original scores when we reviewed each film. If films share the same score their placement will be based upon our personal preference.
19. Amityville: Vanishing Point (2016)
Our score: 0/10
Not just the worst movie with the Amityville name attached but one of the worst movies ever made. Sitting through the 92 minutes of Amityville: Vanishing Point should be used as a form of corporal punishment.
There is barely a plot. The movie plays out like a joke film made by college students. An incoherent mess thanks to terrible editing & even worse pacing. It’s a mind-numbing bore that confuses to the point where you just want to switch it off.
An ugly film, there is no attention paid to lighting or framing but perhaps the worst thing is the sound mix. A hilariously inconsistent train wreck of muffled & echoing dialogue and over the top music. Read our full review here.
18. Amityville Exorcism (2017)
Our score: 1/10
The story surrounds an alcoholic father forced to team up with a priest to save his daughter from demonic possession. An Amityville demon that has moved on to a new house through the lumber supplies that came from the original house.
I mean we’ve had haunted lamps, haunted clocks, haunted mirrors so why not haunted lumber!?
There are no surprises here, it’s your bog-standard possession horror with some atrocious acting. Not helped by just how poorly shot it is with constant close-ups, poor consistency in angles, awful lighting & boring locations. Read our full review here.
17. Amityville Death House (2015)
Our score: 1/10
A long time ago a witch was captured & hung for her crimes angering the dark lord who plans his revenge on the descendants of those who killed her. He does this in narrator style while drawing cards from a Tarot deck.
Tiffany, alongside some of her friends, arrives in Amityville to check in on her elderly grandmother. Turns out that the house she is living in has a book of the dead & it’s not long before the ancient witch is up & murdering her way through the cast.
No-one comes out of this well, the acting is horrific. Several cardboard cut-outs would have been preferable to the wooden performances here. The movie looks like it was filmed on someone’s mobile phone, it is horrible to watch & liable to give you a headache. Read our full review here.
16. The Amityville Haunting (2011)
Our Score: 2/10
This movie is called The Amityville Haunting but I shall forever call it The Amityville Paranormal Activity because it doesn’t just borrow from those movies, it rips them off to such a degree it’s embarrassing.
The movie opens claiming that the footage you’re about to watch is real. Seem familiar? Get used to that feeling. Being a found-footage movie you know what to expect here. Shaky cam with awful angles & sudden jumps mixed with lingering shots into darkness. Here though they add the static room cameras of the Paranormal Activity series too so we can get obvious & laughable jump scares.
There is little to recommend here, the scares are childish jump moments with attempts at building tension that fall extremely flat. The ending is predictable & it takes far too long to get to the supposed payoff. Overly long with very little happening throughout, the family never really come across as being in danger until the final few minutes & that source just raises more questions! Read our full review here.
15. Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989)
Our Score: 2/10
At the end of Amityville 3D, the house is destroyed erupting in a fireball & collapsing. The end of the house but not the end of the evil so it seems.
The Evil Escapes opens showing the house as it was. A few days after an exorcism, an Amityville yard sale is taking place. The priest that led the exorcism is confident that the demons are now gone but he doesn’t know that they’ve taken up residence in a lamp.
Yes, this really as bad as it sounds. There are so many faults with the most glaring being the terrible attempt to make a freaking lamp scary. Don’t get me wrong it’s a cool looking lamp but freaking the pets out, turning the odd appliance on & waving the cord around like a snake isn’t scary!
The movie just drags & drags feeling hours long as nothing of significance happens. Its incredibly boring with hammy acting & far too many moments that amuse rather than scare. Read our full review here.
14. Amityville 3D (1983)
Our Score: 3/10
John & his partner, Melanie attend a séance at 112 Ocean Avenue (the Amityville House) where they expose a group of con artists. Turns out they are both investigative reporters who expose shams like this around the country.
John is taken with the house & is talked into buying it by the estate agent. Both John & Melanie begin to experience strange events but not just in the house. In a confusing turn the evil in the house influences an elevator at John’s place of work causing it to malfunction.
Amityville 3D is well known for not just being a bad movie but also being one of the poorest movies to utilise the 3D fad of the 80’s. There are numerous problems that make the movie a chore to sit through most noticeably with the horror elements. There is no sense of dread or actual threat from the demonic house. It whips up a wind, slams doors & utilises flies to attack the patrons but seemingly at random.
There is no build up; it’s an evil house that takes its first victim within the first 20 minutes. From that point onwards it’s all downhill with horrible effects, some of the worst for a film of this era. Read our full review here.
13. The Amityville Terror (2016)
Our Score: 3.5/10
With such a generic title, it’s not surprise that this latest entry is as generic as they come. Knowing its limitations it attempts to distract the viewer with more nudity & more sex then you might expect in an Amityville movie.
From the start, The Amityville Terror drops the ball…hard. Amityville is of course located in Long Island, New York. A place not exactly well known for its mountains & palm trees. The plot surrounds a troubled family that unknowingly move into a ‘cursed’ house in Amityville. It’s not 112 Ocean Avenue nor is it suggested that it is but leaves enough hints/links that it could be a house built on the same ground.
Cue every cliché possible with a glutton of nudity, lacklustre acting, horrible CGI all wrapped up in a completely unmemorable story. Is this the worst of the series so far? No, not even close. It’s just so ‘by the numbers’ that when the credits roll the only thing you’re likely to remember is the nudity! Read our full review here.
12. The Amityville Playhouse (2015)
Our Score: 4/10
This movie is a bit of a surprise. Not in that it’s good, it’s not but rather that it uses plot points from previous movies in the series to create its own story here.
Fawn inherits a dilapidated theatre in Amityville after her parents died. The theatre hasn’t been in use for some time but she decides to check it out hoping to understand why her parents owned it & never told her.
She takes some of her friends with her, a group of bland & irritating characters who fit every teenage cliché going. Once inside the group explore & get a little freaked out when mysterious things start happening. They decide to leave but the find the doors sealed closed, there is no way out.
It’s just a shame that the end result is so laughable, so poorly done that all you can do is shake your head in amazement. The acting is bad to diabolically bad, a film jammed packed with dialogue that is often pointless & said with very little convection or believability. Read our full review here.
11. Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
Our Score: 4/10
Amityville II: The Possession is a prequel & one that is inspired by the DeFeo murders & the claims Ronald made.
The Montelli family consisting of father Anthony, mother Dolores, eldest son Sonny, the teenage daughter Patricia and the two youngest, a boy & a girl are moving into their new house, the Amityville House.
It’s not long before unusual things begin to occur within the house blamed mostly on the children by their strict & abusive father. After a nasty incident involving the local priest the true extent of the Montelli’s family problems become apparent, they are falling apart & Sonny seems to take the brunt of most of his father’s anger.
The strange events going on in the house seem to affect Sonny the most & he becomes sullen & withdrawn refusing to go to Church with the rest of the family. It is while alone that he is attacked by an unseen presence & subjected to demonic possession. A now possessed Sonny becomes even more withdrawn, starts an incestuous relationship with his sister & his face contorts to resemble a demon during times of stress.
As interesting as the story subject might be it is poorly told & you can’t help but wonder why it isn’t more of a direct telling of the DeFeo murders. The hints are dropped throughout & several rumours about Ronald DeFeo & his family are utilised such as a supposed incestuous relationship between brother & sister.
We really could have had something good here, something that would be remembered instead of being consigned to the bargain bin like many of the films in the series. Read our full review here.
10. Amityville: No Escape (2016)
Our Score: 5/10
Amityville: No Escape is a mediocre watch, one that saw the success of Paranormal Activity/The Blair Witch Project & decided that it wanted a bit of that pie.
The movie takes place during two different time periods. One in 1997 & one in 2016 with two different but seemingly related pieces of recovered footage No Escape tries the Blair Witch route of selling itself as ‘real’ but hilariously then drops in a disclaimer that the footage we’re about to see is for ‘marketing purposes’.
The two timelines seem completely unrelated to each other until the final scenes that culminate in a ‘is that it?’ feeling. It is in no way satisfying & ticks every found footage trope going. Blurry & out of focus shots, shaky camera control, dark environments where nothing is visible…it’s all here & as frustrating as always.
That being said, Amityville: No Escape isn’t a horrible film. The 1997 parts are enjoyable & it builds anticipation well even if the end result is lacking. It’s not particularly scary in any regard & rips off far too many movies that came way before it. Of the two Amityville found footage horrors this is far superior but it’s not like it had much to actually top. Read our full review here.
9. The Amityville Horror – Remake (2005)
Our Score: 5/10
‘The Amityville Horror’ is a 2005 a remake of the 1979 film of the same name. Same story but modernised. It’s about a house full of evil spirits who convince a man to murder his family and George’s weapon of choice is an axe.
Pretty much all of the scares are very cheap jump scares and for a movie that’s meant to be scary rather than just slightly creepy it fails pretty hard there.
The lighting that the movie has is great, a very grey dull look that does well to create atmosphere when creepy things happen. If you want a creepyish movie with a few decent jump scares that is quite entertaining then there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes.
Not a patch on the original though. Read our full review here.
8. The Amityville Asylum (2013)
Our Score: 5/10
In similar fashion to many of the previous movies The Amityville Asylum has very little connections to any of the previous films & focuses more on the true story of what occurred at 112 Ocean Avenue, the Ronald DeFeo murders.
The star of the movie is Lisa Templeton, a young woman in need of a job. She applies for a cleaning role at High Hopes Hospital, a mental institution in the town of Amityville.
The facility holds all manner of patients from the catatonic, manic depressives to the criminally insane. The latter ward houses some very dangerous individuals including Sadie who knows more about Lisa then she should & a mysterious ‘John Doe’.
Who could that actually be?
The movie is an improvement over the last in the series & it can’t be faulted for trying something different but it has far too many lulls & not enough scares. That being said though it does have one or two that slightly chill but the poor supporting cast end up ruining those moments. Read our full review here.
7. Amityville: A New Generation (1993)
Our Score: 5/10
The story surrounds Keyes, a young art photographer that gets talking to a homeless man after taking his photo. His generosity surprises the homeless man who gifts Keyes with an antique mirror.
Keyes & some of his fellow artists are planning a big event & since bringing the mirror back inspiration is running wild. Keyes though is beginning to have bad dreams about a Thanksgiving dinner & a man that is clearly insane.
This is his father & its part of a repressed memory. You see his Dad went crazy & murdered the rest of his family during a Thanksgiving dinner. He killed them with a shotgun as they sat at the dinner table in…the original Amityville house.
There is our link, the one and only but it’s a significant one with obvious reference to the true DeFeo murders & the Lutz families stories. Keyes’ Dad now haunts the mirror & plans to make his son commit a similar murder.
Almost sounds quite exciting right? Well, that’s the thing…it’s not; it’s very boring & takes forever building to the reveal of Keyes & his family backstory. Even when it’s painfully obvious the charade continues just so we can have another flashback scene.
It’s not helped by the average acting from most of the leads with Keyes in particular giving off a dull performance that inspires yawns & shrugs. Read our full review here.
6. The Amityville Curse (1990)
Our Score: 5/10
As the movie opens we see a house in the background and it’s clearly not 112 Ocean Avenue, the Amityville House. Yep, it’s completely unrelated to any of the movies that came before only briefly mentioning the towns super-natural past.
A group of people buy a rundown house at a really cheap price unaware that it is cursed. Many years before a local priest was murdered during a confession by one of his own congregation. The confessional box has sat in the basement of the house since then.
It doesn’t take long for ghostly goings-on to start with strong winds blowing, lights flickering & other general boring ghost stuff. The dreams/hallucinations are much better as we see all many of spooky images such as bath water turning into blood & a face pushing itself out of the window of the confessional box.
These moments are effective but held together with a bland & boring plot. It’s supposed to be a murder mystery, who killed the priest & why? It just barely makes sense but does pick up nicely in finale as we get a more traditional possession/slasher horror. Read our full review here.
5. Amityville: Dollhouse (1996)
Our Score: 5/10
The 8th instalment of the Amityville franchise continues the trend of pretending it isn’t the 8th in the franchise. It also continues the tend of ignoring almost all the movies that came before it & basing it on a haunted inanimate object, in this case it is a dollhouse.
However, this dollhouse is modelled on 112 Ocean Avenue, the Amityville House!
The film doesn’t really do anything different than most films involving ghostly goings on until the final 15 minutes when the dimension on the other side of the house comes into play. Here we get more insight into the Amityville story, an attempt to progress it, something that few of the other movies have tried.
Not bad…that’s really all that can be said. In a series that has made it to its 8th incarnation stumbling all over the place, that is high praise. Read our full review here.
4. The Amityville Legacy (2016)
Our Score: 5.5/10
In a shocking turn of events, The Amityville Legacy is not a terrible film! It’s competently made, got some decent acting & the plot actually ties into the true events of what occurred in 112 Ocean Avenue.
The Amityville Legacy has plenty of positives, one that makes it better then quite a few others under the Amityville name. The story is solid, it doesn’t hang about & the finale is a fitting finish that satisfies. When the credits roll, you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement that it wasn’t half-bad.
If it’s lacking in any particular department, it’s the acting. A mixed bag of awkward dialogue & silly reactions. The leads stand out as the best but it’s still not going to go down as career highlights. Read our full review here.
3. Amityville: The Awakening (2017)
Our Score: 6/10
Originally called Amityville: The Lost Tapes & conceived as a found footage horror, Amityville: The Awakening finally saw the light of day in October 2017. This after it was supposed to be released in January 2015. This is a movie that has been through hell with the initial Dimension Films/Blumhouse Productions idea completely abandoned & a totally new idea thrown together.
The Walker family are moving into 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island. Single mother, Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) along with her teenage daughter Belle (Bella Thorne), youngest daughter Juliet (McKenna Grace) & teenage son, James (Cameron Monaghan). The family have moved in to be closer to a neurologist that is looking to treat James. He suffered an accident that has left him on life support unable to move or talk.
Once in the house strange occurrences begin to happen mainly relating to James. Juliet tells Belle that she is talking to James late at night & over a short amount of time he beings to make a miraculous recovery. Belle discovers the truth about the Amityville house (the real life DeFeo murders) & begins to suspect that James recovery may be related to the evil that resides in the house.
Amityville: The Awakening is a generic ghost/possession horror that can proudly be considered one of the better Amityville movies to date.
It’s watchable thanks to a decent cast, some well built tense moments & plenty of references to the original movie. This is certainly the first in a long time to have such direct links to the original movie & the true story. Read our full review here.
2. Amityville: It’s About Time (1992)
Our Score: 6/10
Jacob has returned home from a trip to Amityville where he picked up an old clock. He found it in the remains of an old house there…can you guess which one? He puts the clock on the mantelpiece & declares to his family that ‘it is what their house has been missing’.
It’s not long before strange occurrences begin to happen. Rooms resemble torture chambers, hours seem to pass in a second & after being bitten by a dog, Jacob’s behaviour begins to radically change.
That and the clocks ticking is getting louder & louder.
Visually the movie looks great with some really fun effects. The clock, once on the mantelpiece, fixes itself to it & begins to spread itself through the walls. We see this in the final scenes & it makes it seem so much more threatening.
The links to the original movie are subtle too, hints dropped here & there. It’s as close as we can get to an original, good idea while offering some connection to the franchises roots.
What is nice to see is a bit more blood & gore than you’d normally see in an Amityville horror. It’s used sparingly & mostly in context with an infected bite wound looking particularly gross.
Where the movie does fall down is in it’s length, it’s pretty long & takes a while to get going. The story has a few too many convoluted attempts at explaining the whys when it doesn’t really need too. The happy ending also feels out of place for a story that had been pretty dark for most of it’s run-time. Read our full review here.
1. The Amityville Horror (1979)
Our Score: 8/10
The original and still the best.
George & Kathy Lutz (played by the excellent James Brolin & Margot Kidder), alongside Kathy’s 3 children from a previous marriage have just bought 112 Ocean Avenue. They’ve sunk all their money into it & been able to get it at a really low price.
They invite a local priest to give the house a blessing but he encounters strange events including a deep voice telling him to get out.
As time goes by more events begin to occur that seem to affect George more than anyone else. He becomes obsessed with chopping logs, stoking the fire & he wakes at 3:15 am regularly (the time of the DeFeo murders) while become withdrawn from the family.
It all comes to a head on a stormy night as the events reach a crescendo forcing the family to run for their lives…and thus began a franchise that is still going today!
The Amityville Horror is a tense & exciting horror movie that excels in creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. The house exterior is as famous as the stories that surround it & the opening shot of that famous window backed up by the eerie soundtrack really lets you know what you’re in for from the start.
Read our full review here.