Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Felix Vasques Jr.
    70
    Yet another light weight PG-13 film that poses rather well as an honest to goodness horror film.
  2. 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.
  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
    60
    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: Jim Ridley
    50
    The movie exhausts its blast-in-the-face scares through repetition. A wasted opportunity-- especially since the events as reported scarcely need embellishing.
  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: Grady Hendrix
    50
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    Throughout the film, doors slam, windows shatter and poor, battered Betsy wakes up screaming with tiresome regularity; even Sutherland appears bored by it all.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    40
    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.
  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. 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.
  13. Tries -- and fails -- to evoke that whoa-did-this-really-happen edge.
  14. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    38
    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
    12
    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
4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 11 out of 22
  1. Sep 26, 2012
    9
    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 itunusually 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. Feb 22, 2015
    6
    Academy award winners Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek and Rachel Hurd-Wood, star in a not so scary but very entertaining film, that was basedAcademy award winners Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek and Rachel Hurd-Wood, star in a not so scary but very entertaining film, that was based on a true story? here's the deal if you want to make a good horror film then at least have the potential to make good scare sequences. Writer and director Courtney Solomon has made a spine-chilling script and the effects in addition the cinematography is smooth. In case your wondering, this is based of a book by Brent Monahan ("The Bell Witch: An American Haunting") if your interested in reading the book go a head it's probably better then the movie. Grade C+ Full Review »
  3. Sep 1, 2014
    5
    Not a typical horror flick, An American Haunting gives a creepy interesting look at hauntings in the 19th century. Despite being heavily cutNot 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 »