The Bell Witch Haunting (2014)
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A suspected murder/suicide is revealed to be something much more sinister when a small-town police station releases the shocking footage captured by a family who encountered one of America's most terrifying paranormal legends.
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Critic Reviews for The Bell Witch Haunting
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Audience Reviews for The Bell Witch Haunting
Another supernatural horror "found footage" which should not be on a big screen, written and directed by Ric White. The movie stars Doug Moore, Stephanie Love, Amber Bland and Ric White. The film is based on the book The Authenticated History of the Bell Witch by M.V. Ingram, a newspaper reporter, concerning the Bell Witch legend. It was shot in less than a month with most of the filming taking place at several locations in Sumner County, Tennessee, including the historic Rock Castle in Hendersonville, Tennessee and the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
The good thing about this movie is that presents the historical facts correctly... In real life, in the early 1800s, John Bell moved his family from North Carolina to the Red River bottomland in Robertson County, Tennessee, settling in a community, Red River, which became Adams, Tennessee many years later. Bell purchased some land and a large house for his family. Over the next several years, he acquired more land, increasing his holdings to 328 acres, and cleared a number of fields for planting. He also was made an Elder of Red River Baptist Church. The Bells also had three more children after moving to Tennessee. One day in 1817, John Bell was inspecting his corn field when he encountered a strange-looking animal sitting in the middle of a corn row. Shocked by the appearance of this animal, which had the body of a dog and the head of a rabbit, Bell shot several times. The animal vanished. Bell thought nothing more about the incident, at least not until after dinner. That evening, the Bells began hearing "beating" sounds on the outside walls of their log house. The mysterious sounds continued with increased frequency and force each night. Bell and his sons often hurried outside to catch the culprit but always returned empty-handed. In the weeks that followed, the Bell children began waking up frightened, complaining that rats were gnawing at their bedposts. Not long after that, the children began complaining of having their bed covers pulled from them and their pillows tossed onto the floor by a seemingly invisible entity.
As time went on, the Bells began hearing faint, whispering voices, which too weak to understand but sounded like a feeble old woman singing hymns. The encounters escalated, and the Bells' youngest daughter, Betsy, began experiencing brutal encounters with the invisible entity. It would pull her hair and slap her relentlessly, often leaving welts and hand prints on her face and body. The disturbances, which John Bell told his family to keep a secret, eventually escalated to such a point that he decided to share his "family trouble" with his closest friend and neighbour, James Johnston. Johnston and his wife spent the night at the Bell home, where they were subjected to the same terrifying disturbances that the Bells had experienced. After having his bedcovers removed and being slapped repeatedly, Johnston sprang out of bed, exclaiming, "In the name of the Lord, who are you and what do you want!" There was no response, but the remainder of the night was relatively peaceful. The entity's voice strengthened over time to the point that it was loud and unmistakable. It sang hymns, quoted scripture, carried on intelligent conversation, and once even quoted, word-for-word, two sermons that were preached at the same time on the same day, thirteen miles apart. Word of this supernatural phenomenon soon spread outside the settlement, even to Nashville, where then-Major General Andrew Jackson took a keen interest.
This movie tries to get all these things happening in the modern time... but in the way that it was boring, stupid and simply na´ve! Director could be anyone, camera work was mostly done on equipment which every teenager can probably find in their own room, screenplay had awful dialogues , and acting was shocking! Enough said...
So what's the verdict for these "true events" now that the evidence has been presented to us? We have the Sawyer family, whose utterly clueless nature goes beyond that of even the most bottom of the barrel slasher film characters, the sheriff's department was not only kind enough to edit in a musical score but also package the footage inside a snazzy looking DVD case, and this was produced by same guy that thought tornadoes slinging sharks around Los Angeles was a great idea. Sounds legit to me.
Full review at http://silverscreenfanatic.com/2015/04/13/what-the-hell-were-they-thinking-67/
A terrible bore of a "found footage" film. The trouble with the genre is the distance from the subjects and the sheer ridiculousness of people still recording when they are. This film is so distant from what is supposed to be happening on screen, there's absolutely no sympathy toward the terrorized family or their friends that keep being found dead. Things get so silly after a while you completely check out of the reality of the film altogether. After about an hour in I couldn't even keep up with what was supposed to be happening. I was pretty sure the father bit off his tongue in a scene, but then he's seen fine and talking a few scenes later. The family encounters the police multiple times, but they never seem to follow up on anything that they are investigating.
The film is clearly modeled after the "Paranormal Activity" films and relies very little on the Bell Witch mythos. Watching the film, I was repeatedly reminded why "The Blair Witch Project" works as a film; it immersed you in the tone and tension of its world. You got to know the characters and gained some sympathy for their plight. There's no tension in this film to make it worthwhile. I don't blame the actors who have been given scenarios to act out, perhaps they were quite good, although the film doesn't do a worthy job of actually showing you their performances.
I lament the filmmakers who watched the rough cut of this film and realized they had made a horror film that doesn't work at all. "C'est la vie, release it anyway!"
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