This year’s addition to the franchise is “My Amityville Horror,” a documentary that begins a limited run at the IFC Center on Friday before IFC Midnight takes it to select theaters around the country. It opens in Los Angeles next Saturday.
Now a new documentary, “My Amityville Horror,” makes it personal, introducing a man who is still living through that nightmare. The film, which will have its New York premiere Saturday at IFC Center as part of the third annual DOC NYC festival, features the first-person testimony of Daniel Lutz, the eldest of the Lutz siblings, who was 9 when the events occurred.
Danny Lutz, now 47, tells his story for the first time in the documentary My Amityville Horror. “No matter what you believe about the haunting, Danny clearly believes it happened,” says director Eric Walter. “For him the trauma is all too real.”
Why He’s On Our Radar: Eric Walter makes his directorial debut with the intensely creepy documentary My Amityville Horror, which recently world premiered at the just wrapped Fantasia Fest in Montreal. For the first time, Daniel Lutz offers his take on his experiences living at 112 Ocean Avenue, the house his parents publicly claimed was haunted by paranormal activity when they lived there in 1975.
Truly understanding the supernatural and the unexplained can be a difficult process for anyone, and the sense of unease of unsolved mysteries can be even more terrifying for a child. This is certainly the case with Daniel Lutz, the oldest of the three children who lived through the highly publicized Amityville horror case in the mid-1970s. With national public interest at what truly happened in the case still peaked, Lutz has broken his silence for the first time to reveal his memories to first-time feature documentary filmmaker Eric Walter.
Screen chats to director Eric Walter and producer Andrea Adams about their documentary My Amityville Horror, which plays at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
The true story of what happened in the infamous Amityville house is scarier and more compelling than any of the movies based on it—at least as told by survivor Daniel Lutz in My Amityville Horror. As the acclaimed documentary hits select theaters and digital outlets today from IFC Films under the IFC Midnight banner, we have exclusive words with its director.
My Amityville Horror made its world premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, and those who were expecting a glossy mockumentary disguised as a real documentary recalling horrific events were pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a real film instead of bundled hyperbole.
This was because up-and-coming documentarian Eric Walter was more interested in examining Daniel Lutz, one of the Lutz children who lived in and fled from the now infamous Amityville house in New York decades ago, than exploiting the hauntings themselves.
I just watched director Eric Walter‘s documentary, My Amityville Horror, yesterday prior to interviewing him and I was surprised by how much I liked it. In particular, Walter pulls off a difficult feat in engaging the very temperamental Daniel Lutz, something he managed to do over a period of months without ever losing his objectivity on his subject. Walter and I spoke at length about the effect the real-life Amityville saga has had on Daniel Lutz and whether or not he believes the claims the Lutz family has made over the years. The answer, like most things in real life, is complicated.
Eric Walter is exactly the kind of guy that most audience members attending this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival could relate to — for years he’s been intrigued by the subject of the unexplained, the unsolved and the paranormal including the infamous Amityville Horror case which as he puts it, has haunted him for years. Given his predisposition to all things spooky, it’s no surprise that his documentary My Amityville Horror was well-received by the Toronto After Dark audience when it screened during the 6th night of the festival.
I recently had a chance to speak with documentary filmmaker Eric Walter about his work on My Amityville Horror. The director discussed the new film, how he got involved in the project, his expertise on the subject, how he came to work with Daniel Lutz, his experience working with him, allegations that George Lutz abused Kathy’s children and had previous ties to the occult, whether he believes that Danny’s claims of paranormal experiences are real or not, and if he thinks Danny will ever be able to recover from his traumatic childhood and live a normal life.
In the following interview, we discuss Eric Walter’s obsession with Amityville, how the project came about and how Laura DiDio, Marvin Scott, Lorraine Warren and other reporters and investigators originally involved in the case came onboard, and his opinions on Daniel, and how he interprets the events at Amityville.
If you’ve previously read my review (HERE) of Eric Walter’s documentary MY AMITYVILLE HORROR, then you already know how much I enjoyed it. It was obvious from the get-go that Walter had a real respect for the subject matter and presented for the first time, the story of Daniel Lutz, the oldest son haunted by the events that were made legendary by films, books and various other mediums. It’s a really well done film, and I was happy as hell to be able to chat with Eric for a bit.
Much has been written and said about the so-called Amityville haunting since it first happened in 1975 and shocked the nation. It spawned the popular 1977 book, The Amityville Horror, as well as ten films between 1979 and 2011 including the original movie of the same name starringJames Brolin (Traffic), Margot Kidder (Superman), and Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night), and the remake in 2005 featuring Ryan Reynolds(Green Lantern) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass). But now, for the first in thirty-five years, Daniel Lutz, son of George and Kathleen Lutz, has a chance to tell his side of the story in an incredible new documentary entitled My Amityville Horror, which opens in Los Angeles theaters and on VOD March 15th.
Being the horror nerd I am, there’s no way a chance to speak with Eric Walter about his experience was slipping by me. Check out my exclusive interview with Eric as we talk about the curiosity that caused him to make My Amityville Horror, his experience with Daniel on the set, and what his final thoughts about the whole ordeal were.
StarCam had the privilege of doing an exclusive Q&A session with My Amityville Horror Director Eric Walter. In it, we discuss what drew him to the Amityville story, his job as a documentarian and what he is working on next.
Today we are talking to Eric Walter, the director of the fascinating documentary, My Amityville Horror. Eric, let’s begin with you telling us a little about this film and how it came to be. My Amtiyville Horror is now available for streaming on iTunes Here and will be arriving on DVD in the coming months.
“One of history’s most famous haunted houses casts a long shadow in My Amityville Horror, Eric Walter‘s tantalizing doc…should please both believers and die-hard skeptics.“
“Walter’s film succeeds is in rendering Lutz, onscreen throughout, as an indelibly prickly and unsettling figure.”
“Eric Walter‘s absorbing documentary My Amityville Horror stands apart from most Amityville-alia. He explores the hoax-or-horror debate, but his chief concern is the effect of a world-famous haunting on one of the people who experienced it.”
“Whether it was all a haunting or a hoax is left unanswered, but the film leaves little doubt that Amityville’s greatest source of evil was, fundamentally, parental in nature.”
“MY AMITYVILLE HORROR is a seriously fascinating film, impressively structured and absolutely absorbing.”
“My Amityville Horror is extremely well-done…this is the definitive Amityville Horror story for me.”
“Daniel’s childhood demons are an impossible combination of supposed paranormal horror, true crime ghastliness, and childhood abuse. In the inferno that is his mind, they’ve become interlocked, and in the movie based on his life, they are essential and wholly riveting.”
“A truly heartbreaking examination of a 40 year old man who has spent his life trying to protect a wounded 10 year old boy within him.”
“The principal subject of Eric Walter’s superb documentary, My Amityville Horror, is a ghost…Danny became convinced of things which are impossible…it becomes a part of you—invisible, but moving through you, influencing everything you think and do. You become haunted by it.”
“It can be unequivocally stated that MY AMITYVILLE HORROR is the most true-to-life film to deal with the phenomenon, and pretty much as unequivocally stated that it’s the best of them too.”
“It examines the frailty of human perception in such a brilliant way that you will be thinking about Daniel Lutz’s story long after the creepy end credits have rolled.”
“What is most impressive about this documentary is how inclusive it is….director Eric Walter does an incredible job of showing both sides of the story, without turning Daniel Lutz into a crazed lunatic.”
“The film becomes absolutely fascinating, with it taking a pragmatic, skeptical approach most documentarians working in this genre might have been scared off by.”
BFI London Film Festival 2012 – My Amityville Horror – Eric Walter, Andrea Adams and John R. Blythe
Fantasia 2012 – My Amityville Horror – Eric Walter & Andrea Adams
Inside the ‘Amityville Horror’ House featuring Christopher Quaratino and Eric Walter, Director of “My Amityville Horror”
Fantastia International Film Festival 2012
RealGhostStoriesOnline.com Interview with Director Eric Walter – “Inside Amityville: The Story Behind My Amityville Horror”
Spooky Southcoast Radio Interview with Director Eric Walter
Movie Geeks United Interview with Director Eric Walter