What You Need To Know:
There's really not anything in this movie that fans of horror flicks haven't seen presented with more style and creativity in other works. The director doesn't allow much room for character development. Also, the attacks onscreen often come across as silly and unbelievable. Ultimately, evil overcomes good, which is the biggest strike (of many) against this movie. With a very strong occult worldview and graphic violence, discerning moviegoers probably will want to avoid AN AMERICAN HAUNTING. It has little to offer a media-wise audience.
(OOO, B, VVV, A, D, M) Very strong occult worldview with some biblical elements in which the name of Jesus is called upon to overcome evil forces as well as several prayers recited to exorcise them; no foul language; very strong violence including numerous scenes in which a girl is being attacked by an evil spirit, and several scenes in which a man is attacked by a phantom wolf as well as many other miscellaneous depictions of a family being attacked by a mysterious and malevolent entity; no sexual content, although a brief depiction of husband kissing wife; no nudity; brief alcohol use; brief depicting of man smoking pipe; and, talk of a shady business deal and a curse put on a family by woman rumored to be a witch.
AN AMERICAN HAUNTING is a horror flick about a spiteful entity’s attacks on an adolescent girl and her family.
Based on the writings of Brent Monahan, Courtney Solomon directs this ghost-story supposedly inspired by actual occurrences at the Bell family’s Tennessee farm in 1818. The movie stars Donald Sutherland as John Bell and Sissy Spacek as his wife. Although the Bells are a simple, normal family, their quiet world is rudely interrupted when strange noises begin echoing throughout their house and in the woods surrounding their property. John begins seeing an evil-looking black wolf with yellowy eyes. Their young daughter Betsy (Rachel Hurd-Wood) is suddenly haunted by visions and inexplicable attacks. The family seeks a rational explanation from a local professor (James D’Arcy). They also try praying and reading Scripture in the house, but nothing seems to work. For reasons unexplained, the Bell family is doomed to a dark and sadistic poltergeist.
There’s really not anything in this movie that fans of horror flicks haven’t seen presented with more style and creativity in other works. Solomon doesn’t allow much room for character development, and the attacks onscreen often come across as silly and unbelievable rather than chilling. The movie has no heroes, and Betsy often appears to possess more bravery and perseverance than her cowardly father.
To combat the evil spirits attacking their family, the Bells try reading Scripture out loud and they recite several prayers to Jesus which clearly have an affect on their strange antagonist. Ultimately, however, evil overcomes good, which is the biggest strike (of many) against AN AMERICAN HAUNTING.
With a strong occult worldview and graphic violence, moviegoers will want to avoid AN AMERICAN HAUNTING, which has little to offer a media-wise audience.