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38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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4.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An American Haunting is based on true events documented by the State of Tennessee. Between the years 1818-1820, the Bell Family of Red River, Tennessee was visited by an unknown, unseen presence that terrorized the family. To date, it is the only recorded case in American history where a spirit of entity has caused the death of a human being. (After Dark Films) Expand
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 11 out of 21
  1. Sep 26, 2012
    10
    cool and incredibly scary.
  2. Sep 26, 2012
    10
    creepy as hell, i enjoyed this so much, it puts supposed 'horror' films like the grudge, the others, and insidious to shame, this does what all of them don't. Expand
  3. ChadS.
    May 7, 2006
    3
    [***SPOILERS***]"American Haunting" has one of the biggest plot holes in recent memory. When the idea finally hits them(about time!) that Betsy(Rachel Hurd Wood) should be moved from the house, the demonic spirit hunts them down and thwarts their horse-driven escape. But it's a dream, and apparently Betsy must've told the other Bells that it didn't work. Nonetheless, you would think that fleeing the house is preferable than being molested by a poltergeist. It's downright laughable how many times Betsy is allowed to sleep in her room. Maybe the real escape from the house ended up on the cutting room floor. "An American Haunting" doesn't have the accidental entertainment value that another not-screened-for-critics film, "A Sound of Thunder", had, even though the special effects are equally cheesy. Expand
  4. Aug 22, 2011
    3
    It was good to spend time and take a few scares, but the ending is too predictable... It seems they wanted to give a rational explanation of the events but were kind of on the fence, almost as if they hadn't explained right (not in order to leave doubt in the air, but in the explanation poorly performed). Perhaps it would have been better if they had chosen to leave between the haunt be really a curse, or let the phenomena being the reflection of the trauma of the girl explained naturally. The mixture of these two options, in my opinion, left the rather weak script. Expand
  5. DanL.
    May 7, 2006
    2
    There is such thing as too much music, and for God's sakes, could we stop moving the camera for one second? Besides that, well, still not good. Some of the themes were freaky in concept, but were done so pathetically that you couldn't help but roll your eyes. Maybe there's just not room for such an innocent horror movie in today's Saw/Hills Have Eyes horror market, because this movie felt so cute there were times when you thought you were watching a straight-to-DVD Disney flick. One more note on the innocent route, without spoiling too much: when a movie is so innocent that it's laughable, don't make the conclusion so blunt and insensitive that it's repulsive. It's a disgusting effect. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jul 20, 2006
    0
    Based on truth or not, this is one of the stupidest films I've ever seen. Ridiculously stupid.

See all 21 User Reviews