But Danny might believe a little too much. He doesn't come across as a con artist—although the best con artists wouldn't—but as someone deeply and genuinely traumatized by his childhood. He tells his story with different interlocutors: the director, a reporter, a reality-TVish psychologist, and a paranormal investigator, frankly (and with evident anger and pain) recounting the strange, increasingly absurd occurrences—like seeing an angry cartoon pig with teeth like a wolf and laser-like red eyes—he experienced, as well as his troubled relationship with his stepfather, George (played in the original film by James Brolin, later by Ryan Reynolds).
When Danny insists—insists—he witnessed George in a pre-Amityville garage moving tools telekinetically for his friends, he really starts to lose his credibility. Was George really a black magician? Did he summon an evil to that house? Was Danny possessed by a demon? Or was he an angry teenager with a shitty home life, the stepson of a serious sonofabitch? The film works best not as a ghost story but as a psychological portrait of a man in denial. Danny seems possessed most of all by a need to ascribe to real-world "evil" a fantastical origin, as though he's unable to make sense of the world as it is.
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