Promo Art for Shattered Hopes


One of the numerous Amityville projects slated for release in the near future is Shattered Hopes: The True Story Behind the Amityville Murders. The film is based on Ric Osuna’s book The Night the Defeo’s Died and has been in the making for over ten years now. The path this film has taken to release has been a rocky one and to be honest I never thought it would ever see the flicker of a movie screen.

The Amityville story has been done and redone more times than necessary, but none of the previous movies have sought to tell the DeFeo’s story specifically. In fact they’ve told just about every other story imaginable BUT the one that made the rest possible. Amityville 2: The Possession was loosely based on the case but took great liberties with the narrative. Aside from that the DeFeo’s story has mostly taken a back seat to the Lutz’s. And while I don’t agree with the claims made in Osuna’s book I certainly applaud Ryan Katzenbach’s dedication and efforts to get this film made. I also applaud his attention to detail and “getting it right” when it comes to the settings, most notably the famous house on Ocean Avenue. Take a look:


Impressive right? The only glaring difference to me is that the quarter moon windows are noticably larger in the movie set but everything else is spot on. Bravo! Katzenbach had this to say about the task of getting this story told:

“I knew, like James Cameron, when he did ‘Titanic’ in 1997 that if you were going to take on a subject that had already been done, then you had better have something new to say or, otherwise, what is the point? Amityville has been done repeatedly, but I felt like we could go the extra mile in terms of the research as well as visually. The approach, like ‘Titanic’, was to really plant the viewer back in time and make the experience as viscereal as possible.”

The film is getting a sneak peek this November in Los Angeles. I doubt it will make it to my local multiplex but I will certainly be picking up the DVD when it becomes available. According to the film’s website the finished movie is over 4 hours long and will be split into two features. The movie poster says it is part of a trilogy so I guess we’ll be getting even more Amityville in 2012. I wonder what the 3rd movie will be about? The haunting? The media circus? Who knows.

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