Pro-hoax review of Anson's: Amityville a microcosm of America in the '70s

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jecht
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Pro-hoax review of Anson's: Amityville a microcosm of America in the '70s

Post by jecht » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:13 am

This is an interesting book review from 2018 on Anson’s original book. Its thesis is that it's not a haunted house, but a story of a middle-class American family in the '70s buying more than they could afford and that it’s a microcosm of America in the ‘70s, trying to get by in a brutally changing world:

https://wearethemutants.com/2018/01/24/ ... ment-8748

What really happened is not just frightening, but tragic. Instead of being a story about a family terrorized by a malevolent supernatural entity, The Amityville Horror is a portrait of the slow suffocation of the American middle class and the American small town, of violent men and their inseparable relationship with “traditional family values,” of a couple’s blithe vanity and selfishness at the expense of their “eroding” family. When the story opens, George’s land surveying business, passed down to him from his father, who inherited it from his father, is failing. (Ronald Defeo Jr. was also the beneficiary of a multi-generational family business.) In the late 1970s, mortgage rates reached an all-time high because of runaway inflation, taking homes out of reach for most families—the Lutzes paid twice their limit for 112 Ocean Avenue.


Also, it mentions the personality changes. In the book, it said George and Kathy change personality-wise and became more angry.

After cracking a window in the upstairs “playroom”—in which they are constantly left alone—Kathy “exploded and together with her husband, beat Danny, Chris, and Missy with a strap and a large, heavy wooden spoon.”

I thought they were from rough backgrounds and George was a tough Marine, so weren't they a bit strict anyways, even pre-house?

Also, I'm not sure what the neighbor in the work boots is all about?

When a man holding a six-pack and wearing corduroy pants and construction boots shows up at the door to welcome them to the neighborhood, “it struck George that he didn’t look like a neighbor who would own one of the large homes in the area.”

Even though I’m pro-haunting and not pro-hoax, this is an interesting look at the situation.

In a way, it’s similar to how as a kid you watched E.T. as a story about a boy and his alien friend, but as an adult, it’s about a single mom and two boys trying to make it in southern California.
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Brendan72
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Re: Pro-hoax review of Anson's: Amityville a microcosm of America in the '70s

Post by Brendan72 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:08 am

I should not be surprised that in 2018 it is still claimed George's business, which was third generation, was failing. This is despite being given a loan from the bank who somehow overlooked this? Sorry it does not wash.

This old chestnut has circulated around the traps for decades like a bad penny. I am not sure if it came from the media storm, one of the naysayers at that time, or both. Someone else may be able to field this question.
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Amit Y Ville
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Re: Pro-hoax review of Anson's: Amityville a microcosm of America in the '70s

Post by Amit Y Ville » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:43 am

There is some truth in it for sure.

I do think the family story of the Amityville films is the really gritty niche these movies carve into. Particularly the first four Amityville movies which paint mostly a happy family who slowly become transformed into a devestated mess. I can certainly equate it to my family in the 90's when my sister ran away from home, eventually leaving around 1996 when Dollhouse was released. Just before that time we were all at war, even though my parents still loved each other. When I saw The Evil Escapes in 1995 is really was an exaggerated preminition of what was to come.
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Bango Skank
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Re: Pro-hoax review of Anson's: Amityville a microcosm of America in the '70s

Post by Bango Skank » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:49 am

I can't remember if he was referencing the movie, the book or both but Stephen King said a lot of the same things about the case in his book Danse Macabre.

Stephanie2019
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Re: Pro-hoax review of Anson's: Amityville a microcosm of America in the '70s

Post by Stephanie2019 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:57 pm

The stuff about George and Kathy spanking the kids with straps and spoons, as a child of this era, this method of discipline was quite common in families. I don't agree with it entirely, especially using objects to spank with, but it was used a lot more often than you see it now. So, this part of the book didn't strike me as especially jarring.

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