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Old September 26 2011, 08:59 PM   #676
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

So, I watched The Amityville Horror (1979) for the first time last night. I was a little underwhelmed.

I thought it was actually a decent Exorcist/Omen clone for most of its length, though it had a tendency to leave plot threads dangling. The story of Father Delaney, for example, could have been dropped without affecting the rest of the movie at all. Ditto the discovery of the Red Room. And ditto the father's resemblance to the killer.

But the ending sucked. It just sucked. I almost would have preferred a cheap sequel-setup scare.

Similarly, I read John Shirley's novel Cellars (1981) recently. This is supposed to be an important influence on the rise of splatterpunk and 'extreme horror'. Edward Lee, for example, has written a foreword to the new edition, citing it as a major inspiration. And, unlike The Amityville Horror, the ending of Cellars was the best part--very thrilling.

The problem in this case was the rest of the book, which struck me as rather dull and meandering.
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