NOTE: Another great spoiler sent in by Brentage5000
The movie starts on November 14th, 1974. We see Ronald DeFeo sitting in his basement watching an old screen-test pattern (you know, with the Indian head). The clock flicks to 3:15 in the morning, and Ronald starts hearing voices that keep saying, "...Catch 'em, kill 'em." With a possessed look on his face, he slowly grabs his shotgun and walks upstairs. He goes into one bedroom and kills his two brothers, which wakes his youngest sister, Jodie. He goes through the rest of the house, kills his parents and remaining brothers and sisters, and then heads for Jodie's room. He doesn't see her at first, but then he hears something inside the closet. He opens the door and sees Jodie sitting on the floor. She looks up at him and asks what's wrong. He says, "I love you, Jodie," sticks the barrel in her face, and pulls the trigger.
During the opening credits, we see flashes of the ensuing investigation and discovery of the bodies. Apparently, a phone call was made from the local bar alerting authorities to the dead people. Eventually, DeFeo himself came under suspicion and told police that, "the voices made me do it." He was eventually found guilty, and the house was cleaned out and the ugly incident shoved aside and forgotten.
One year later, in Deer Park, Long Island, we see George and Kathy Lutz (Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George, respectively) waking up in their house. George has recently married Kathy and is trying to get used to the idea of being a father of three without having done any work to do it. The middle child, Michael (Jimmy Bennett) comes into the room and starts playing with George while Kathy starts showering. George tells Michael that he can call George whatever he wants...though once Mike calls George "Stinkoman," George decides to draw the line there. Downstairs, George attempts to make scrambled eggs for the other two kids, Billy (Jesse James) and Chelsea (Chloe Moretz) but doesn't have the greatest success. Eventually, him and Kathy get the kids packed off to school (though Billy, who has a serious grudge against George, doesn't want to go) and the two go off house-hunting.
Later, the happy couple is in some neighborhood where George says the houses are "way out of our price-range" when Kathy suddenly spots the house they're looking for, a 1692 Dutch colonial with a sign out front reading, "High Hopes." In the driveway, they greet a slightly nervous-looking real estate agent who shows them around the house. She assures George that everything is legit, since he can't believe a house this beautiful costs so little. She tells them how originally the house was just the basement, and everything else was just added on over the years. The group moves through the house with the Lutz's in awe, failing to notice at one point something that bolts past them behind the real-estate agent, though she notices. Next up on the tour is the basement, which the agent leaves George and Kathy to explore for themselves. They go down and Kathy expresses how much she really wants it, and continues to do so up until they leave. She heads up first, and George stays for a moment, noticing an old alarm clock that is stuck at 3:15. He tosses it aside and lets it bounce off the wall and onto the floor. The agent then takes the time to show them the boathouse that's located behind the house on the water, and Kathy emphasizes to George that it'd be great for his speedboat. As they're going out, George asks what the catch to the house is, and the agent finally tells them that a man killed his woman and child and their cat when he found out she was crushing on an American teacher---wait, check that. She tells them about the DeFeo murder, but emphasizes that it's all water-under-the-bridge for the town. George and Kathy talk one more time, and George declares that the house is theirs.
DAY ONE -- DECEMBER 18, 1975... We see the family moving in and filming the whole move-in process on an old home movie camera. We see Billy waving at the camera, George carrying Mike out of the truck, the kids playing with the dog in the super-big yard, and Kathy doing some kind of dance for George (even though she's naturally resistant, or at least pretending to be). That night, after an on-the-floor dinner, we see Kathy tucking Michael and Billy in and asking if they said their prayers. Billy just spouts out that prayers don't come true, but Kathy knows that he feels this way just because his prayers about his real dad coming back were never answered. Right about now, George comes up outside the room and hears Kathy tell him that George isn't here to replace his dad, but just to be his friend and maybe, someday, more than that. Billy asks if that's how she feels about replacing his dad, and she says that George could never replace him. Later, we see George and Kathy in their bedroom when the phone rings, and it's Kathy's mom, who absolutely gushes (re: doesn't talk to him more than necessary) over George. While she talks, George gets cold and heads down to the furnace in the basement. He hears some voices down there, but not very clearly. He traces them to the alarm clock from before, which is now on a table...and unplugged. Confused but not bothered, George goes to the furnace and throws some pieces of wood in before heading back upstairs. Once he's gone, the furnace flares briefly as if Hell was in there, and then quiets down again. Later, at about 3:15, we see George and Kathy having sex. The clock turns, and George suddenly sees Jodie behind Kathy, hanging from the ceiling. He screams once in shock, but quickly calms down.
DAY TWO... The Lutz's are still finishing up unpacking, and we see Kathy going into Chelsea's room (formerly Jodie's). Chelsea tells Kathy about the girl who lives in her closet, and we see Jodie sitting in a chair, unseen by Kathy and with bullet hole in her head. Chelsea smiles and says that Jodie won't hurt her, and Kathy just gets a look on her face like, "Oh, those children..." Outside, we see George chopping wood with his ax when Michael suddenly comes up with something that looks like half of a beartrap or some kind of neck-chain. He says that he found it downstairs, and George yells at Michael that downstairs is his office and Michael should never go down there. Later, we see George and Kathy in the kitchen when suddenly Harry (the dog) starts barking. They wonder where Chelsea is and suddenly see the door to it banging open. They rush outside and see Chelsea standing on the edge of the boat just above the water's surface. They get her out of there, and we next see George putting a padlock on the boathouse door. Later that night, we're in the boys room and see Michael get up. He goes over to his brother to try to get Billy to take him to the bathroom, but Billy's out. Petrified, Michael starts making his way to the bathroom, hearing strange voices and footsteps all the way. Suddenly he hears some extra loud footsteps and dashes for the bathroom and hides, but it's just George, who can't sleep. As he is heading downstairs, we see blood starting to come out of the holes in the walls (where lightswitches are, for example). On his way down (at 3:15, of course) he sees that the boathouse door is banging open. He watches and sees a red balloon of Chelsea's come floating out of the door. Panicked, he rushes down there but once inside finds nothing. Leaving, he looks up and sees a light on in Chelsea's room. He looks closer and sees Chelsea there...and another girl. He rushes up there, opens the door...and sees Chelsea is asleep. Now utterly flummoxed, he begins hearing voices again, and he opens the door to the boys room, where he sees DeFeo standing there with his shotgun. HE shoots at the boys, but doesn't hurt them, since he's a ghost. George backs out of there and then goes back in, where it's now all clear. He looks around and we next see him at the kitchen table. Kathy comes down to get him to come to bed, but he says he can't sleep. He then tells her about the door and shows her something he found in Billy's room -- the padlock keys.
DAY FIFTEEN... We come in on the end of the second full week of Billy's punishment detail. George says it can stop as soon as he admits to having stolen the keys, but Billy keeps saying he didn't do it. George just shrugs and the two start working on chopping wood. Meanwhile, Kathy is in the kitchen when she hears Jodie run past her, though she doesn't see her. She then sees on the fridge that the magnetic letters have formed into the words "Ketch em & kill em." She then hears something downstairs and , thinking it's George, goes to look. She starts calling for him, but he suddenly pops up behind her and asks what's wrong. She says that she must just be seeing things and asks him about the magnets, but surprise -- they're back to normal. Anyway, they decide that they're going to go out and have some fun that night, which doesn't sit too well with Billy, who feels he's too old for a baby-sitter...until the door opens and the ultra hot baby-sitter Lisa (Rachel Nichols) arrives, prompting Billy to introduce himself -- twice -- and making George say quietly to Billy, "So, you sure you don't need a baby-sitter tonight, then?"
Once at the restaurant, George and Kathy instantly start acting like they're back on an old high-school (well, maybe college) date, until George admits that this is the first time he feels like he's finally right at something, and he doesn't want to have that feeling taken away. Back home, Lisa is taking a hit off her mini-bong when someone knocks on the door. She yells that she'll be right out, opens the door, and sees Billy standing there with a bowlful of popcorn. He offers it to her, and she ends up in his Kiss-poster covered room, where she asks him if he's ever French-kissed someone before. He stammers, and she just grins and starts telling him the history of the house, including the fact that two boys were killed in the room he and Michael (who has shown up by now) sleep in. She then walks them up to Chelsea's room and starts talking about Jodie, but then Chelsea comes up and starts saying, "Jodie says you're a bad baby-sitter." Lisa laughs and goes, "Yeah, well, Jodie's fucking DEAD, girl! They found her in that closet!" Billy then asks Lisa if she'd go in the closet. Lisa says that she'll do it for Billy's Kiss poster, and he says okay. She goes in when the house suddenly slams the door shut on her. Michael and Billy try to get her out while Chelsea smiles and watches from her bed. In the closet, the light's flickering and bleeding while Lisa screams to be let out when she turns around and sees Jodie in there with her. Jodie grabs Lisa's hand and sticks Lisa's finger into the hole in her forehead, and we cut to Lisa being wheeled out of there on a stretcher just as George and Kathy come back home. We later see George and Kathy talking to Billy and an in-tears Michael. Kathy is trying to get George to calm down, but he won't hear it and says it's time to get some discipline going around here.
DAY SIXTEEN... The next day, George is out chopping Wood again with Billy. He is now having Billy hold onto it as long as possible and than letting go at the last possible second before the axe hits, an act which gets Billy crying, which in turn pisses George off. That night, we see Chelsea and Kathy talking and Chelsea repeats that Jodie won't hurt Kathy because she thinks Kathy is a good mommy. However, Chelsea says that Jodie says to beware of the man who lives here, because he's mean. Meanwhile, we see that George is downstairs and is hearing voices again. He finds an entrance to some room downstairs full of coffins. Blood starts seeping out of the coffins and some of the corpses in them start attacking George. He gets out of there and convinces himself that it wasn't real. He goes upstairs to take a bath and gets in when suddenly arms are coming out of every possible corner to hold him down and drown him. He desperately fights them off and gets out of the tub and into the reassuring arms of Kathy, who heard him thrashing about and holds him while George is stuck in a state of terror.
DAY SEVENTEEN... We see George and Kathy at a doctor. The doctor declares that there seems to be nothing wrong with George physically and gives him the name of a psychiatrist, which George reluctantly takes. Back home, Billy is looking after Michael and Chelsea and getting them breakfast when Chelsea asks if she can go get her teddy. Billy says sure, but be quick. A few minutes later, George and Kathy pull up, and they see Chelsea on the roof! Kathy runs through the house for Chelsea's room looking to come in from behind while George grabs a ladder off of his truck and sets it up near Chelsea with the help of the boys. Although Kathy nearly falls a couple of times, they eventually get Chelsea down. Once that's done, Kathy starts yelling at her for doing something so dangerous and stupid, and Chelsea yells back that Jodie had said she was taking her to see her daddy. Kathy loses it and says that Jodie isn't real, but Chelsea yells back that she is real. George comes up at this point, looks at them, and says, "What a bunch of weirdos...one weird fucking family." That night, George officially moves himself into the basement, since, as he said earlier, it was the warmest room in the house.
DAY EIGHTEEN... The next day, we see Kathy at a church to talk to Father Calloway (Phillip Baker Hall), the local priest. She tells him what's been happening and that she thinks something evil is in her house. He says to her that, "...about a year ago, there was this family...they had a similar problem..." She immediately recognizes that story as the DeFeos and says in a frightened whisper, "I'm living in their house!" That night, we see George huddled in the basement watching the movies they made on day one when suddenly Billy's face turns into a demon-face. George isn't sure if he really saw it and goes back to make sure, but just as he gets to that spot, the film starts to burn up. Right about then, at 3:15 in the morning, George starts hearing the voices again. He seems to finally be ready to listen, and heads outside and gets the axe. He looks around and notices the boathouse door swinging open. He goes down there with flashlight and axe in tow and starts looking around, thinking that it might be Chelsea again (I guess). He sees some bubbles coming up in front, looks down, and sees Jodie's face in the water. Suddenly something comes at him from behind and he starts whaling on it with the axe. Once he finally stops and gets himself under control, he picks up the flashlight, looks, and sees that he has killed Billy's dog Harry.
DAY NINETEEN... The next morning, we see Kathy come up to an exhausted looking George in the kitchen. She begs him to leave the house with them...just pack up all their things and they can get out of there. He squeezes her hand a little too tightly and says that everything they have is in this house and that she was the one that wanted it in the first place, so she can't quit now. Before things get worse, Billy and Michael come in looking for Harry. They ask George if he's seen Harry, but George just says that Harry must have run away. Later, we see Calloway coming up to the house to bless and investigate and possibly exorcise it. Chelsea answers the door for him, and he notices her one-eyed teddy bear and looks startled at it. He comes in and sets up shop in a room somewhere on the second floor. He takes out a vial of holy water and puts on his...holy scarf (I don't know what they're called)...and starts blessing the house. Before he gets too far, the house locks him in the room and Calloway sees that the doorknobs have inverted crosses on them. Pressing on, he throws some holy water onto the floor, but as soon as it hits, two things happen--the water stars boiling away as if it's acid, and the house seems to start moaning in pain. Calloway carries on, but is soon interrupted by a noise coming from the vents. He goes to investigate it at a nearby vent, but is quickly attacked by a swarm of flies that start attacking his eyes while the house menacingly tells him, "Get out..." Quickly, Calloway grabs his stuff and makes for his car while Kathy chases after him. Before he pulls away, he gives Kathy a look that seems to be a mixture of both pity and warning against the things that are in that house. Later that night, we see George trying to get to sleep in the basement, but he is unable to due to the persistant sounds of a dog barking from the direction of the boathouse...
DAY TWENTY-EIGHT... George wakes up to hear the familiar voices at the same time that we see Kathy bolting into the library. Kathy turns the place upside down doing research on everything that happened with the DeFeos while George goes to the boarded up area he's been hearing the voices from and tears the boards down. After finding a bunch of maggots and some bricks, he breaks down the bricks and steps through into some kind of long hallway. At the library, Kathy has discovered something about a man who used to own that land known as, "Rev. Ketcham." (!) While George wanders through Ketcham's halls seeing what Kathy reads about, Kathy reads about how Ketcham would take Indians that he claimed were possessed of demons and perform hideous acts upon them, tearing them apart and starving them and cutting them open without sewing them back up, all to get the evil out (pretty gross stuff here). From the library, Kathy goes to Calloway and asks why he left that day, and he tells her that her house frightened him and that she must get her family away from that house as soon as possible. He also reveals that he recognized Chelsea's teddy as having once belonged to Jodie DeFeo...and having been buried with her.
While this is going on, George is walking down a hall in the basement towards a lit chamber. Inside, he finds Ketcham (though he doesn't know who it is). Ketcham slices his own throat and lets all the blood spill onto George when George suddenly wakes up on the couch. In a daze, George wanders out to the boathouse as a storm starts to gather and is followed by the recently arrived Kathy. George looks into the water and sees all the Indian ghosts there. He turns the boat on and sets the propeller to slowly turn. Kathy comes out and tries to get him away from there but she falls in and George, thinking she's a ghost, tries to kill her. He realizes what he's doing and stops, but she is majorly pissed. She goes inside and starts looking for the kids, but when she goes downstairs she sees four coffins with their names on them. She turns and sees George standing there with a look of intensity on his face. Kathy and the kids run for the roof as George takes shots at them with a shotgun. Kathy manages to knock George down to the ground, where he loses hold of the shotgun, and the four head down. Once they're on the ground, George gets up and starts attacking Billy, who keeps changing into a demon (George thinks) until Kathy hits him George with the shotgun, apparently knocking him out. Kathy gets the kids together but George suddenly comes to and kills her with an axe to the stomach. We then see him screaming on the ground and realize that this was just another vision as he starts screaming at Kathy, "Kill me! Kill me or I'll kill you!" Kathy just takes the shotgun and knocks George completely out, saying, "No one's going to die today."
In the boathouse, the Lutz's are trying to load George into the boat when he suddenly starts screaming again. Kathy realizes they just have to get him away from the house and he'll be all right. They eventually get George into the boat and pull away from the house in the early morning light. Once their far enough out, they turn and look at George, who already looks better physically. He wakes up and says to Kathy, "Don't even look at it honey...don't even think about it. Just get us out of here." As they drive away, a brief notice pops up onto the screen:
After twenty eight days, the Lutz family fled Amityville, Long Island.
They never returned for their personal possessions.
We head back to the house and see Jodie standing in the main foyer with her teddy. She looks straight at the camera and suddenly begins screaming. As she screams, everything in the house that changed -- the clocks, the inverted crosses, the furnace, the magnets, everything -- starts resetting itself to how it was before. The clocks hit 3:15, and Jodie stops screaming, just in time to be pulled through the floor by an unknown pair of hands.
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