Today’s Feature: “For God’s Sake, Get Out!” The Making of The Amityville Horror (2004)/ The Amityville Horror (1979)
Though many, myself included, first think “Lois Lane” when hearing the name of the late Margot Kidder, the actress also contributed her skills to some true horror classics. 1974’s Black Christmas stands as one of the most influential films in horror, but is still a cult phenomenon as far as box-office success. On the other hand, Kidder followed up Superman with 1979’s The Amityville Horror, the highest grossing independent film of its time and an absolute legend as far as the genre goes. Innovative and notably grim, the tale of psychosis and possession has haunted generations. If you have yet to see the film, check it out and observe just how many touches would carry over into the many haunted house films that followed. Film’s like Insidious and Sinister owe a great debt to the aesthetic created in 1979.
For God’s Sake, Get Out is far from a complete documentary about the making of the first film, in fact, it is more of an interview with Kidder and her co-star James Brolin.
Actually, it’s really two separate interviews.
There is a brief acknowledgment that the pair didn’t quite get along on set, both citing vastly different acting methods, so I assume that at the time of the interviews this may have still been the case. Hopefully they worked that out later, as they did have an intriguing chemistry in the film. Anyway, through their interviews, you really get to learn a lot about how the leads felt about the story they were telling, and why they signed on to the film in the first place. They even comment on the late Rod Steiger’s performance, one that was equally important to narrative. There are some cool pieces of trivia, including a cameo from another Brolin and some nice comments on the style of director Stuart Rosenberg. The biggest gaps in this feature come from a lack of commentary from someone involved in the film’s cinematography and special effects. As I mentioned, it is the aesthetic that is most frequently referenced, and not having much in the way of acknowledging that seems like a big oversight.
“For God’s Sake, Get Out!” The Making of The Amityville Horror was apparently produced for a DVD set released in support of the 2005 remake, but I’ve had a hard time tracking that down. Regardless, you should probably snag Scream Factory’s The Amityville Horror Trilogy Blu-Ray Set which also features the short documentary.