Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. Solomon crafts a quality horror piece from strong performances and effects. The chief disappointment of An American Haunting is that it doesn't exploit more opportunities for the sublime subtlety of performances by Sissy Spacek and, especially, Donald Sutherland.
  2. Reviewed by: Felix Vasques Jr.
    Yet another light weight PG-13 film that poses rather well as an honest to goodness horror film.
  3. There are jolts galore in a movie stuffed with the basic tricks of the evil-spirit trade - banging noises in the attic, slamming doors and windows, spinning clocks, shaking beds, rabid beasts, disappearing children and the occasional moment of eyeball-rolling possession.
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    A well-made, good-looking movie it is, but between the non-stop tumult and the sense of deliberateness about its period authenticity, An American Haunting produces a lot of screaming, crying and cruelty, but not much drama.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Throughout the film, doors slam, windows shatter and poor, battered Betsy wakes up screaming with tiresome regularity; even Sutherland appears bored by it all.
  6. The unnecessarily famous cast for such a standard, creaking, fake-spooky ghost story (with Bible verses thrown in for good measure).
  7. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    The movie exhausts its blast-in-the-face scares through repetition. A wasted opportunity-- especially since the events as reported scarcely need embellishing.
  8. Reviewed by: Grady Hendrix
    This is a well-packaged film that arrives like a nicely wrapped Christmas present, full of promise and potential. Then you unwrap it and discover that it's just another electric gravy boat and, worse, it's still got the price tag attached.
  9. 40
    It really IS fun to watch yet another oddball turn by Sutherland, and a marginally restrained one from Spacek. It's just not THAT fun.
  10. 40
    Despite their appeal to patriotic horror fans, the makers of An American Haunting end up doing more harm than good to domestic fright production.
  11. At times, the narrative thread slips the movie's grasp and there are flat spots in which characters just scream and thrash. Given what its ending aims for (don't ask), such interludes feel flabby and gratuitous even with Sutherland and Spacek providing gravitas to the ghoulishness.
  12. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    An American Haunting purports to be based on a documented event, although most of its inspiration has been drawn from the empty well of "The Exorcist" and its progeny.
  13. Tries -- and fails -- to evoke that whoa-did-this-really-happen edge.
  14. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Its images came from a dusty box in the horror-movie attic, and the attic is where the entire picture will be in a month.
  15. 30
    I'm guessing Donald Sutherland agreed to do this tedious horror flick because he heard Sissy Spacek was on board, and Spacek agreed to do it because she heard Sutherland was on board.
  16. This is the type of movie that you should be getting for free on television.
  17. 25
    Never remotely frightening.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    An American Haunting sets the bar at a new low: It makes ''The Blair Witch Project" look like a masterpiece of world cinema.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 11 out of 21
  1. Sep 26, 2012
    unusually creepy, this film gives some high-profile J-horror remakes a run for their money, it is scary, the cast is rather fitting, and it has a relatively solid plot. Full Review »
  2. Sep 1, 2014
    Not a typical horror flick, An American Haunting gives a creepy interesting look at hauntings in the 19th century. Despite being heavily cut short, Sutherland and Spacek both give more than adequate performances. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2012
    i sat down expecting another direct-to-dvd sh*tfest, instead, i was totally and absolutely blindsided, this is a solid effort that is far better than everyone else says it is - samarathenymph xoxo Full Review »