An American Haunting Reviews
Boring. And why market a film as a true story of the only documented case where a spirit killed a man, and then not have the man killed by the spirit. Instead they created an explanation for why the "spirit" was haunting them which was not at all the case in the true story/legend.
The characters I admit were a bit underdeveloped; I don't think any of them had much personality. They seemed to act exactly the same- all of them. They had no unique characteristics that separated them from one another except for maybe the teacher, but even that is a stretch. There were also many unnecessary characters in the film that had absolutely no personality whatsoever. They also didn't add anything to the story, so it was completely useless to have them in the film at all.
Some parts really didn't make any sense. The demon dog or wolf or whatever kind of confused me. Not sure what the symbolism was there, but I didn't catch on. Why a black dog/wolf? What was its purpose exactly? Also, why did the witch have John & Betsy's stuff? *SPOILER* The witch had no part in the strange events taking place at the Bell's house, so I'm not sure why she would have those things. The film never explains it. The movie clears up some plot holes like the relationship of Betsy and her teacher, and the little girl ghost that Betsy saw.....but that's pretty much it. It was a kind of a confusing story.
There was good depth in the plot, and I thought the story line was okay (just needed some clarity), but the characters really needed to be developed more. When the characters don't seem to care about what's going on, how can the audience?
That pretty much sums up my issues with the film as a film divorced from the inspiration; it tries too hard to be flashy. I especially disliked the voice of the Bell Witch spirit, which seemed to be an amalgamation of cast voices and primarily a little girl whispering. Well, I suppose that fits with the ending but it's not all that creepy. If they'd made it more concrete and less ethereal then it could've been genuinely unnerving AND we would've been able to make out what the hell it was saying.
I would love to see a decent period horror film, for me this sadly isn't one.
I particularly liked the ending which I felt turned the whole film around from just being watchable to pretty entertaining and of course realising it?s authenticity.
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, Rachel Hurd-Wood.
I can't believe $8 was wasted on this, I remember over a year ago I had heard a few pre-screener reviews for this film and they said it was pretty good (must of been paid by the studio to say bullshit, either that or they were 13 year old girls) and then after it was released, I never followed any reviews and then saw this DVD on shelves this week in the video store....and I truly regret even touching the DVD case.
The film pretty much sums up 'cliche' and mashes it all into one atrocious film. I have briefly heard of this story before, it is an interesting concept and could be great if done well, instead it is taken and raped. The film could win an award for the most overuse of cliche I have ever seen, building no visible tension at all and using extremely pathetic loud noises to produce scares (hollywood for you, anything to make a buck from 13 year old girls). As well as being badly paced, the dialogue is also very laughable and bland and overall made the film extremely boring and I struggled to even get through it.
Aside from the very bad CGI, the only reason I gave this half a star was because the cinematography was pretty impressive. Not recommended.
The dialogue is irritating, cliche, & uninspired. The plot...wait there wasn't one, sorry. It had no scares. The actors were doing alright, but they were dull & lifeless. And to finish it off, the movie itself made no sense. I was wondering if it really was a horror movie.
How many times have we seen the story of a girl who sees a ghost, no ones believes her, & later discovers it was a family member was the cause of it all? Many times in my occasion. "Oh no I made my own ghost because I wouldn't say my own dad was fucking & molesting me in bed" oh c'mon! Were young girls back then so stupid? This movie barely made ANY sense!
Hell even "The Messengers" (with Kristen Stewart) was better, scarier, & made more sense than this horrible movie. This movie permanently lands on #2 of my list of the top 6 WORST horror movies I have ever seen.
[font=Century Gothic]Months later, things go bump in the night at the Bell household...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"An American Haunting" is an atmospheric but disjointed movie that has more on its mind than being a simple ghost story. That and a fine resolution to the plot redeem it in the end, even if there is a lot that may seem obvious.[/font]