I. The Amityville Horror (1979): The film begins on the night of November 13th, 1974 in Amityville, New York. Ronald Defeo Jr. has just murdered his parents and four siblings with a high powered rifle while they slept in their beds. There was no apparent motive. He claimed that voices he heard in the house made him do it. A year later, the Defeos' gorgeous lake house is sold to George and Kathy Lutz (James Brolin and Margot Kidder) and their three children. Immediately the Lutzes notice strange things happening in the house, such as a swarm of flies in the house during the winter time and strange black fluid secreting from the toilets. A local priest named Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) senses that the house is haunted and that the Lutzes may be in great danger. It turns out that he is more right than he knows.
II. Amityville II: The Possession (1982): This prequel begins with the infamous Amityville house of horror being purchased by an Italian-American family named the Montellis. They are a very dysfunctional family led by an abusive father (Burt Young.) The family, especially their oldest son Sonny (Jack Magner), start noticing strange things going on in the house. They call upon local priest Father Adamsky (James Olson) to bless the home. He notices strange things right away, especially with Sonny. Could Sonny be possessed by some sort of demon?
III. Amityville 3-D (1983): This direct sequel to The Amityville Horror begins with skeptical journalist John Baxter (Tony Roberts) interested in buying the infamous Amityville house of horror. He knows all of the ghost stories but he doesn't really believe in them. The asking price of the house is so low that the owner is practically giving the house away; it's an offer he can't refuse. Baxter, recently divorced, buys the house for himself, but welcomes his daughter Susan (Lori Loughlin) to make a room for herself for whenever she feels like getting away from her mother's home. Not long after buying the house, people that come into contact with Baxter and the house meet with a shocking fate. Is the house really haunted?
IV. Amityville Confidential (2005): Was the Amityville house of horror really haunted or was it all a hoax. These documentaries will take you deep into the true story of the Amityville Horror.
COMMENTS: The infamous Amityville series is based on the true story of a haunted house in Amityville, New York. Even people who haven't seen the movies or read the books will still recognize the appearance of the infamous Amityville house of horror, with it's eyelid like windows that seem to stare at you. The house was owned by a dysfunctional Italian-American family called the Defeos. Their oldest son, Ronald Jr. (nick-named Butch), murdered his whole family on the night of November 13th, 1974. He shot all of them with a high powered rifle while they were asleep in their beds. Weird enough is that none of the neighbors heard a sound. In court, Ronald claimed that he murdered his family because voices told him to do so. A year later, the house was purchased by George and Kathy Lutz and their three children. They only lived in the house for 28 days. They claimed that the house was haunted. Whatever it was, it scared them enough to make them leave without taking "any" of their belongings with them. The house became the study site for several paranormalist investigators, including world-famous demonologists Ed & Lorraine Warren. Several families have owned the house since 1976, but none of them have ever claimed in public that they believed the house to be haunted. The Lutzes later tape recorded their story of their 28-day stay in the house. Author Jay Anson later used this story for his fictionalized novel "The Amityville Horror." The film version was based on both the true story and the novel, but it was more faithful to the true story. Many people claim to this day that the Lutzes are liars and that they made up the whole story to make a profit. The Lutzes claim to this day that everything that they have said about their stay in the house was the honest-to-God truth. Even local priest Father Ralph Pecoraro claimed that he was slapped in the face by an invisible force when he came to bless the home after being summoned by the Lutzes. He also claimed that he heard a strange, disembodied voice tell him to "Get Out!" As far as making a profit, they made very little royalties off of the novel and the film. They are not nor have they ever been rich. While this film version may not be a classic, it is still a fine horror film. The second film, Amityville II, is based on the true story of the Defeos and Dr. Hans Holzer's book "Murder in Amityville." However, this film has been highly fictionalized. They even changed the names of the Defeos to the Montellis. The film also borrows a lot from "The Exorcist" (1973) in that it depicts the Ronald Defeo Jr. character of Sonny Montelli as a young boy who murdered his family because he was possessed by a demon. The filmmakers also gave him demonic makeup that resembles Regan from "The Exorcist." This film is quite good as well and some people feel that it is better than the original. The third film, Amityville 3-D, came out during the early `80s revival of 3-D movies, along with "Jaws 3-D" (1983) and "Friday the 13th Part 3-D" (1982). This is the first Amityville film that was not based on true events. The special effects are really cheap and the film is so bad that it's hilarious. Unfortunately it is presented in a flat-screen format. I don't understand why they couldn't just release it with 3-D glasses like the DVD release of "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" (1991). 3-D movies look ridiculous when presented in flat-screen. Amityville 3-D was followed by several other bad fictional sequels (not included on this set) including "Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes" (1989), "The Amityville Curse" (1989), "Amityville 1992: It's About Time" (1992), "Amityville: A New Generation" (1993), and "Amityville Dollhouse" (1997). A remake of the first film also came out in 2005 starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George as the Lutzes; it was quite good. The remake is more faithful to the novel than the true story. The true gem of this collection is the 4th disc, Amityville Confidential. It is a bonus disc that includes two History Channel documentaries (Amityville: The Haunting / Amityville: Horror or Hoax?) and a short on location look into the making of the 2005 Amityville Horror remake. This whole box set is a nice little collection that I would recommend to any horror fan. All of the films have been completely remastered and are presented in the original widescreen theatrical ratio. Amityville's II and III are also viewable in full screen. The Amityville Horror also features Audio Commentary by parapsycologist Dr. Hans Holzer, radio spots, theatrical trailer, and "For God's Sake, Get Out!" documentary. The other two films only contain the trailer.