I happened to see some of the 1979 movie The Amityville Horror on TV the other night, which was convenient coming on the heels of talking about The Haunting. I liked it pretty well, although several scenes bore a close resemblance to some in the earlier film The Exorcist. I’ve already noted one similarity here, and there was also a scene where a police detective talks to a priest that resembled a scene from that famous horror film. Even so, I thought Amityville seemed to be a vastly superior film. I want to see the whole thing some time.
It’s not as subtle as The Haunting, but it still moves slower and more insidiously than the “shock” horror movies of today. And I like that. I was a little disappointed in the ending where they escape from the house. In the allegedly “true story” on which the film is based, the family did not explain what had finally caused them to leave the house, saying it was “too frightening”. Now, whatever you think of their motivations, you can’t deny that this “leave it to the reader/viewer” technique is way scarier. The movie should have done that, too.