Ten years ago Ryan Katzenbach set out to make the definitive film about the Amityville case, or more specifically the DeFeo murders that spawned the entire phenomenon. The result is Shattered Hopes, a six-hour docudrama which has been conveniently split into 3 films; Part 1: From Horror To Homicide, Part 2: Mob, Mayhem, Murder, and Part 3: Fraud and Forensics which is due out in November just in time for the 40th anniversary of the crime that inspired it.
We’ve been following the development of this series very closely over at the Amityville Truth Forum and I think it is safe to say that most everyone over there are not fans. Shattered is partially based on Ric Osuna’s book The Night the DeFeo’s Died and to say it plays fast and loose with the facts is an understatement. There are numerous threads debunking most of the claims made in this movie. But while we may not put a lot of credence in the “truth” presented in Ryan’s project, I can’t help but be impressed with its scope and the level of detail that Katzenbach brought to the screen. The man built a replica of the house at it appeared in 1974 in his back yard for God’s sake!
You may be surprised to learn that this is the one Amityville film I haven’t seen yet. I intended to buy the installments as they were released but I decided to wait till all three were available. While six hours of Amityville is never too much for an obsessed fan like myself most folks don’t care. If you are reading this I doubt you are one of those folks, but you may know a few, and for them the Reelz channel has a solution. On October 25th they are airing a “feature length” edit of all three installments just in time for Halloween called The Amityville Horror Murders. Set your DVRS!
If you’d like your own copies of this epic masterpiece head on over to Amityvillefilm.com.