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Why Margot Kidder Hated 'The Amityville Horror,' One Of Her Most Popular Films

Margot Kidder said "crazy Christians" flocked to the film because they "wanted people to believe in the devil."

By Gina Tron

The late actress Margot Kidder was no fan of one of her most popular films: "The Amityville Horror," the 1979 hit now considered a horror classic.

Kidder, who died Sunday, considered it something else.

“What a piece of s---!” she told the AV Club in 2009. “I couldn’t believe that anyone would take that seriously.”

In that interview, Kidder made clear she didn’t believe the story about a supposedly haunted film that inspired the film.

“It was the crazy Christians who made it a hit,” she said. “They wanted people to believe in the devil and possessions and haunted houses and all that hooey.”

Kidder died in her sleep at her home in Livingston, Montana. She was 69.

The Canadian-born actress appeared in more than 70 movies and TV shows, including "The Amityville Horror,” which was initially panned by critics but became the highest-grossing independent film ever at the time of its release. It was based on the book by Jay Anson, which told the story of a family living in a Long Island home haunted by supernatural forces.

So how much of the horror tale is even true? 

Ronald DeFeo Jr., then 23, shot his parents and four siblings to death at their home in Amityville on November 13, 1974. DeFeo Jr. was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder a year later. His motive remained a mystery, with speculation that it was tied to a life insurance policy. But DeFeo testified that he heard voices in the house telling him to kill. That led to legends about a haunting in the house.

Thirteen months after the murders, the Lutz family purchased the five-bedroom house at a discounted price of $80,000. But they ended up fleeing just 28 days later, blaming paranormal activity. The family also claimed to see green slime coming out of the walls and a red-eyed pig creature.

The family’s former lawyer later claimed they made the stories up. But at the time he was embroiled in a legal battle with the family after having a falling out with them.

Kidder seems to have sided with the lawyer.

"I don't buy into any of that hogwash, dear," Kidder told The Guardian in 2005. "They put that out to sell tickets. It's just a classic horror movie, with the Greek drama formula of good versus evil, and lots of fear."

Kidder played the wife Kathy Lutz in “The Amityville Horror.” It wasn't her only horror role. She also starred in "Black Christmas," "The Clown at Midnight," Death 4 Told" and Rob Zombie’s "Halloween II."

Reuters contributed to this report.

[Photos: Getty Images]

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