Daniel Farrands is seeking to challenge everything you think you know about the Amityville story with his upcoming prequel The Amityville Murders: A Haunting on Long Island.
Set in 1974, the film explores the events that led to Ronald DeFeo Jr slaughtering his entire family in America’s most infamous home – a heinous crime that, George and Kathy Lutz later claimed, led to its hauntings and paranormal occurrences.
If the premise sounds a bit familiar, it’s because the story was originally told in the semi-fictional 1982 prequel Amityville II: The Possession. Largely panned by critics at the time, this prequel to the original 1979 hit nonetheless proved there was a market for low-budget additions to the Amityville franchise, which is now at a staggering 18 films.
The good people at Bloody Disgusting have brought us a sneak peak of Farrands’s latest endeavour. Starring Paul Ben-Victor, Lainie Kazan, Chelsea Ricketts, John Robinson and Diane Franklin (who also appeared in Amityville II: The Possession) the stills make this addition to the franchise look a bit like your run-of-the-mill “family member hears voices, goes crazy, kills everyone” horror flick. Nonetheless, Farrands does have some excellent horror credentials to his name, so we could be pleasantly surprised.
As is so often the case, taking inspiration from the real world is probably the best way for Farrand to convey the wickedness of this story. DeFeo became as famous for his crime as he did for his explanation in the decades that followed, famously claiming:
“As far as I’m concerned, if I didn’t kill my family, they were going to kill me. And as far as I’m concerned, what I did was self-defence and there was nothing wrong with it. When I got a gun in my hand, there’s no doubt in my mind who I am. I am God.”
If that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine and make you intrigued about The Amityville Murders, nothing will!