[...]The film, which will have its New York premiere Saturday at IFC Center as part of the third annual DOC NYC festival, features the first-person testimony of Daniel Lutz, the eldest of the Lutz siblings, who was 9 when the events occurred. A recluse who had a troubled, combative relationship with his stepfather and claims to have been homeless for a period after leaving his family in his early teens, Mr. Lutz has kept his secrets to himself until now.
Mr. Lutz is not expected to make a public appearance with the film, nor is he doing interviews to promote it. According to Mr. Walter, Mr. Lutz’s brother Christopher and sister Melissa did not participate because “they either don’t want to talk about the experience or they want to do it in their own fashion.”
In the film, Mr. Lutz’s conversation with Mr. Walter (who sits off-camera) becomes tense at times, the wrong question igniting flashes of anger. At the very end, he walks off. Skeptics might suggest he has coped with real childhood trauma by incorporating the lore promoted by his stepfather into his memories. “He was haunted by this man, along with these events,” the filmmaker said, “and they seemed to intermingle into this one energy.”
There is plenty of evidence to show that the Amityville case did not happen AT ALL like the books and movies described. What did happen? We will likely never know for sure. But what we DO know is that it clearly affected the children and the entire family. It did not end well for the Lutz’. But the legacy suggests that there are not really haunted houses, just haunted people.