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The Kids of "The Amityville Horror" Remake

Interviews from the Hollywood Premiere of "The Amityville Horror"

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Jesse James Amityville Horror

Jesse James at the Hollywood Premiere of "The Amityville Horror"

© Rebecca Murray
JESSE JAMES – ‘Billy Lutz’

15 year-old Jesse James stars as the oldest of the Lutz children in the remake of the 1979 horror movie, “The Amityville Horror.” James recalls that all the actors who play the Lutz kids in “The Amityville Horror” were supposed to bond with their onscreen mom, Melissa George, during a day at an amusement park before shooting started. But unfortunately for James, his plane arrived too late and he missed out on the fun. That didn’t stop him from developing a lot of friendships on the set, including a friendship with his movie step-dad, Ryan Reynolds.

Despite the fact Reynolds deliberately stayed away from the kids who played his stepchildren in the film, James and Reynolds became friends. “My character actually doesn’t like ‘George’ because he’s the new step-dad. He kind of resents him so it was kind of better that me and Ryan didn’t go out of our way to bond. We did anyway. I mean, he really is a funny guy. He’s really nice. But he really sold this part well,” said James.

Were there any real life creepy moments on the “Amityville Horror” set? According to James, a few things happened that had the cast and crew a little freaked out. “The lights in the house went on and off randomly in the middle of the night. That’s pretty scary. It’s just pretty creepy being alone in the house. It was kind of scary because the house was so big and it supposedly had this weird back-story and stuff. So it was kind of a weird experience.”

The filmmakers searched all over the United States to try and find the perfect house to stand-in for 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island. After rain washed away a plot of land they had thought about using just outside of Chicago, the film’s construction coordinator discovered a place in Wisconsin that fit their needs. The "Amityville" crew transformed a decaying 120 year-old structure into the Amityville house, adding a faux front to the house that included the trademark ‘eye’ windows from the original structure.

James heard stories about the history of the house the filmmakers chose to use for the movie, but could never confirm whether they were true or not. “Somebody told me that somebody committed suicide. I know that an old woman died in the house but that wasn’t necessarily scary. She was old. I heard that it used to be Al Capone’s hide-out or something… I heard some weird stuff,” recalled James.

One of the most frequent questions James is asked about “The Amityville Horror” story is why the Lutz family stayed so long while the strange happenings escalated with each passing day. “Everybody says that, ‘Why didn’t they get out of the house right away?’ But it’s a horror movie, you kind of have to stay in the house for awhile.”

ISABEL CONNER – ‘Jodie’

Isabel Conner plays the ghost of Jodie in the 2005 remake of “The Amityville Horror,” a fact that may leave some “Amityville Horror” fans scratching their heads in confusion. In the Jay Anson book and the 1979 film, ‘Jodie’ was a demonic pig. In this version, Jodie’s a little girl with no pig-like qualities. The image of glowing red eyes staring in at the family is one of the most memorable from the first film, and from the book based on what happened to George and Kathy Lutz and their children during the 28 days they spent in the Amityville house. So why the change? Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller admit a lot of people miss the demonic pig but they felt it they couldn’t do it justice so they opted for portraying Jodie as the ghost of a little girl. “There were a lot of meetings talking about Jodie the demonic pig and I think at the end of the day, we try and do our job really well but we still couldn’t come up with a good way to make a pig scary so we opted out of that.”

This is Isabel Conner’s first film role though she’s been featured in, as she says, “hundreds of commercials.” Playing a ghost didn’t scare her and in fact, she says she had a blast getting into the makeup required for the part. “It took five minutes [to put the makeup on]. It looked scary, weird, cool, and I liked to peel the bullet hole off. It was fun. I had contacts and I took my own contact lenses out,” said Conner.

PAGE 2: Chloe Moretz ('Chelsea') and Jimmy Bennett ('Michael')

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