An American Haunting (Unrated Edition)
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- Video commentary by director Courtney Solomon
- Alternate and deleted scenes
- Interview with director Courtney Solomon and actress Sissy Spacek
- Internet promotions
- Trailer and TV spots
Top Customer Reviews
As a movie, "An American Haunting" (based on a NOVEL; Brent Monahan's "The Bell Witch-An American Haunting") works rather well. Exquisitely photographed in Romania (doubling for early 18th century Tennessee) by Adrian Biddle, the film is replete with stunning tracking(some of this in the frenetic style of "The Evil Dead")and pan work, and some steadicam revolving shots that are nothing short of marvelous. The lighting is sumptuously atmospheric and all the other technical contributions, from editing, sound, sound effects,special effects, etc., are first rate. It has been said by some that this film has a lot of the look and feel of "Sleepy Hollow", and I must concur there
and state that this says a lot for "Haunting", since "Sleepy Hollow's" cinematic structure was superb.
The acting performances in this film are superb as well. Donald Sutherland is terrific as the breaking-down-by-the-day John Bell, Sissy Spacek grounds it all stoically as mother Lucy, and Rachel Hurd-Wood is excellent as the put-upon by "something" Betsy Bell, the primary focus of the action. All other cast members deliver solidly in their own roles as well.
The movie story is told in flashback as a modern mother, a Bell descendant, reads over a old manuscript that retells the story of the 1817-1820 poltergeist manifestation.Read more ›
The Bell Witch legend isn't something I am familiar with, so when I sat down to watch this movie, I saw simply a movie, and not an iterpretation of historical fact. In a sense, I think it's better that I knew nothing about the legend (which is, now that I've read a little about it, extremely interesting) beforehand, since I'm able to judge the movie as a movie in its own right.
And you know what? It's actually not that bad.
Performances, despite the titanic talents of Sutherland and Sissy Spacek as his wife Lucy, manage to be a little mundane - not bad, just not particularly memorable. The dialogue is pretty stop-startish, too: some sentences are so pretentious as to be nauseating, but for the most part, it's not too bad.
Direction and cinematography are hugely effective: Courtney Solomon and Adrian Biddle make a formidable team, and in one hugely important area, "An American Haunting" succeeds where 99% of all modern American horror movies fail miserably: visually, it's very engaging, very stylish and very satisfying to look at. THANKFULLY, special effects are kept to a bare minimum and the fear factor is magnified because of this - the suggestiveness of the visuals creates more fear than the actual onscreen events.
The audio is excellent, too, and it's very refreshing to find a movie that uses sound effects in such a complimentary way.Read more ›
The acting was great. The actors portrayed their characters very well. It's just the story AND the directing and editing.
The end of the story and the real reason why this is all happening to them is such a let down. The bad part is they don't reveal what's happening until the very, very end and by that time you have already wasted 75 minutes of an 80 minute movie!!! What a rip off.
If you like movies about hauntings and how it's linked to a story, I HIGHLY recommend "The Changeling" with George C. Scott. It's an old movie. I think in the 70's or 80's, but, it's a MUCH better film than this one. I recommend you DON'T buy this movie, but if you must see it. See it for free on cable. Don't waste your money.
Ah. Just a bad dream.
Her mother confiscates a doll and some papers that her daughter found in the attic, goes down to the den and begins reading the papers, which announce that if anyone is reading them, then supernatural events must be occurring (or something along those lines).
The papers go on to tell the story of the Bell Witch, as told in Brent Monahan's fictional horror novel, "An American Haunting".
We move from the present day, with the mother knocking back a shot of Absolut as she prepares to read the stories, directly back into the early 19th century, Tennessee, to the home of John Bell. We find that he has committed the sin of usury by charging 20% interest on a sale of land (wouldn't it be great if 20% was considered, today, a sin??), and the woman to whom he sold the land, Kate Batts, may be a witch. She certainly acts like one, as she lays down what sounds to me like the granddaddy of smack-down curses on him.
Almost immediately, strange things start to happen (actually, they started happening before the "curse"...sounds like squirrels in the attic). His daughter, Betsy, is visited by what appears to be a rather angry poltergeist, as it drags her around the room by her feet, holds her suspended in air, and smacks her silly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read a fictional account of the Bell Witch and, as a result, I understood elements in the movie that I might not have otherwise. The acting was excellent, the story compelling. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Ms. Susan Caughey
Scary good, I've watch this movie a few times it's always good to watch.Published 24 days ago by Mickey Gibbs
A decent presentation of the Bell Witch story; perhas the best known paranormal event in US history, recently covered by an A & E series.Published 1 month ago by Doug Chamberlin
I enjoy haunting movies. I was excited to receive this movie. I have never seen it before receiving the DvD. I enjoyed the movie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sugga40827
I've loved this movie since I first saw it. So glad I was able to add to my collection.Published 7 months ago by Amanda