Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Movie Review: An American Haunting

An American Haunting 
Allan Zeman Productions, Midsummer Films, Remstar Productions, Media Pro Pictures, After Dark Films, Redbus Pictures, Sweetpea Entertainment, UK, Canada, Romania, USA, 2005. 
Based on the novel "The Bell Witch: An American Haunting" by Brent Monahan and inspired by Bell Witch legend

In modern day Jane (Isabelle Almgren-Doré) sees nightmares about a little girl ghost. Her mother finds a letter that tells about the Bell Witch. In Red River, Tennessee 1817 Betsy Bell (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and her family live with their parents John (Donald Sutherland) and Lucy (Sissy Spacek). Witch woman Kate Batts (Gaye Brown) accuses John of stealing her land. John loses the case but Batts is not content and curses the Bell family. 
Isabelle Almgren-Doré
Donald Sutherland
John Bell
Sissy Spacek
Lucy Bell
John begins to see hallucinations and the family hears weird noises in the house. Teacher Richard Powell (James D'Arcy) is worried about Betsy. An invisible entity begins to harass Betsy. James Johnston (Matthew Marsh) tries exorcism to banish the evil spirit. It does not work. Teacher Powell tries more scientific approach. Maybe someone is just trying to scare the family. 
Rachel Hurd-Wood
Betsy Bell
Gaye Brown
Kate Batts
The supernatural attacks become more vicious. Teacher Powell loves Betsy and would like to protect her. Some dark family secrets are about to be revealed...
James D'Arcy
Teacher Richard Powell
Supernatural entity haunt the family
The beginning of the movie is promising. The 1800s setting is atmospheric and feels like a horror version of "Little House on a Prairie." Actors are good and cinematographer knows his business. What is sad again is that after some cliched supernatural events the film tries a clever twist that contradicts everything previously happened. It would be okay to suggest a twist explanation if there were some hints given about it but this movie's internal logic fails and in the end the poor viewer feels cheated. Also the story could have managed without the modern day side story.
Little Ghost House on a Prairie
Rating: Bad

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, James D'Arcy, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Matthew Marsh, Thom Fell, Zoe Thorne, Gaye Brown, Sam Alexander, Miquel Brown, Vernon Dobtcheff, Shauna Shim, Madalina Stan, Philip Hurd-Wood, Vlad Cruceru, Alin Rosca, Andrei Serban, Isabelle Almgren-Doré, Susan Almgren, Howard Rosenstein, Lila Bata-Walsh, Courtney Solomon, Pat Fitzhugh 
Director: Courtney Solomon

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