American Haunting, An Movie Review
The latest in a nasty string of horror movies, An American Haunting came and went without, I think, a single person going to see this movie at the theater. Marketed correctly, this film could have taken off, as it co-stars Donald Sutherland and Carrie-alumn Sissy Spacek. Of course, once audiences actually saw the film, they would realize that they had just wasted ten dollars.
An American Haunting takes place at the turn of the century (by that I mean the late 1800's I'm quite sure), where a girl named Betsy (Rachel Hurd-Wood) starts getting attacked by an evil spirit. Amazingly, her parents (the aforementioned well-known actors) believe her quite quickly, but there are others, including her school teacher who appears to have the hots for her, who believes what is going on is a result of science, not something more sinister. The movie claims to be based on a true story, but I'm sure that whatever truth there was to it, the screenplay twisted the facts to serve its own purpose.
Unfortunately, despite the cast involved, An American Haunting is a shockingly bad horror movie. It's not even cheesy-bad. It's just bad. The scenes where the girl gets attacked by the ghost look like something out of some lame, B-grade exorcism movie. There is not a single scary scene in the whole movie, and the ghost sequences are never very effective at all. It drags on and on and on, and the inclusion of a modern day story at the beginning and end of the movie really makes things worse.
An American Haunting is a complete waste of time, money and talent. Avoid at all costs.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.