Say the word “Amityville” to anyone of a certain vintage and they will immediately match it with “horror”.

Before there was Haunted, before the Enfield poltergeist, there was The Amityville Horror - bigger than Jaws and almost as scary. I can still see the movie posters now, complete with the tagline: “For God’s sake get out!”

The story of a family who moved into a dream home only to flee the place 28 days later was a pop culture phenomenon with bells on.

Now the tale is being brought back for a new generation, this time as a four-part documentary, Amityville: An Origin Story (BBC2, Friday, 9pm).

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George and Kathy Lutz certainly looked to be living the American dream when they bought a grand home on Ocean Avenue, Long Island, in 1975. Priced at $100,000 it was cheap for its size, location and luxury spec, including a heated pool. If Location’s Phil and Kirstie had been on hand eyebrows would have shot up and wary glances exchanged.

Even though Mr and Mrs Lutz must have known they were getting a bargain, they offered $20,000 under the asking price. Even so, the estate agent bit their hand off.

If ever there was a case of appearances being deceptive it was this house. Stunning from the outside, it was only once you were inside that its other, not so charming, features made themselves known. The bulletholes in the wall, for instance , the bloodstains on the floor, and the unmistakable sense of something wicked in the air. Anyone would have turned tail after 28 seconds never mind days. But not Mr and Mrs Lutz.

Some of this was known at the time, other things emerged after the books and film came out, which is where the documentary comes in. Amityville: an Origin Story digs deeper into the backgrounds of the couple and looks at the bigger picture of the times. Who were George and Kathy Lutz? What brought them to that house? What made the story so fascinating that even now, half a century later, people are still drawn to it?

Those not afraid of having nightmares can watch all four episodes on iPlayer. Scaredy cats can go the more traditional route of one episode a week.

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It takes a lot to make your name in arts criticism, especially on television. There is so much competition it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately for him, Waldemar Januszczak has never been the shy retiring type, as we see in Art’s Wildest Movement: Mannerism (free to view Sky Arts, Tuesday, 8pm). If ever a man and a subject were meant to be together it is Januszczak and mannerism.

What-ism? Mannerism. Dates from 1520-1590, arrived after the Renaissance and before the Baroque. Full of the weird and wonderful, and once seen never forgotten. As our guide says, “If you want bodies that don’t look like bodies, figures twisted into weird poses, people in art who don’t usually appear in art, mannerism is the movement for you.” It was, says Januszczak, the movement that changed everything.

Flitting between London, Rome and Florence, Januszczak talks the viewer through works by Pontormo (his favourite artist), Rosso Fiorentino, and Vincenzo Campi. The commentary and presenting style are on a par with the paintings - in short, anything goes, as long as it gets the ideas across Thus we join our guide in a cake shop buying a mountainous portion of ricotta cheese, which he then proceeds to eat/inhale while explaining Campi’s The Ricotta Eaters. Suddenly, everything in the painting makes sense. Sort of.

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Januszczak makes an amusing companion, though he may not be everyone’s espresso (what critic is?). He knows his stuff though. After this you will never look on the Renaissance, or ricotta cheese, in quite the same way again.

You know those annoyingly enthusiastic sorts who evangelise for the things they like? The people who insist you will love this book or that TV programme. So you try it and hate it but cannot say anything for fear of causing offence? It can be an awkward business but I’ll gladly take the risk if it means more people will get to see The Dry (ITV1, Sunday, 10.15pm, 10.45pm).

Nancy Harris’s comedy drama has been around for a while, slowly making the move from the further-flung channels to the mainstream. Roisin Gallagher plays Shiv, who we meet on her return to Ireland after half a lifetime in London. This is no happy, uncomplicated homecoming because Shiv is a complex kind of gal. There’s the alcoholism for starters.

Given the subject matter, The Dry could have gone very wrong, very quickly. But a terrific cast that includes Ciaran Hinds as Shiv’s father and Pam Boyd as her mother, keeps the show on the road. Harris’s writing and Gallagher’s stellar performance takes care of the rest. A second series is on its way.