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An American Haunting
An American Haunting - Unrated (2006)
Front Cover Actor Back Cover
Susan Almgren
Gaye Brown
Vernon Dobtcheff
Philip Hurdwood
Matthew Marsh
Sissy Spacek
Rachel Hurd-Wood
Donald Sutherland
James D'Arcy
Movie Details
Genre Drama; Horror; Mystery; Thriller
Director Courtney Solomon
Producer Andre Rouleau; Christopher Milburn
Writer Courtney Solomon; Brent Monahan
Studio Lionsgate
Language English
Audience Rating Unrated
Running Time 90 mins
Country UK
Color Color
IMDb Rating 4.8
With its brisk 83-minute running time, An American Haunting is compact enough to be recommended as an occasionally spooky sampling of historical horror. Based on Brent Monahan's novel The Bell Witch: An American Haunting, which in turn was inspired by the only known case (from 1818-20) in which the U.S. government officially acknowledged a death by supernatural forces, writer-director Courtney Solomon's film is a well-crafted 19th-century case study involving Tennessee land-owner John Bell (Donald Sutherland), his worried wife Lucy (Sissy Spacek), and the terrifying abuse of their daughter Betsy (Rachel Hurd-Wood) by a malicious poltergeist. Intensified by excessive sound effects and a nerve-jangling score, these nightly hauntings won't scare anyone who's seen The Exorcist, and they grow increasingly repetitious even as Spacek and Sutherland make the most of their underwritten roles. Solomon (who previously brought Dungeons and Dragons to the big screen) seems more interested in visceral terror than fleshing out the details of this interesting story of dark secrets and child abuse, and his over-used bag of tricks includes time-lapse footage, flashes of negative images, black-and-white (to signal an imminent haunting), and a variety of physical effects designed to keep your adrenaline flowing. It works, to a point (although the present-day framing scenes are completely unnecessary), and An American Haunting makes a good double-feature with The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a far better film with similar subject matter. This good-looking, bleakly moody fright-fest is also noteworthy as the next-to-last screen credit for Adrian Biddle, the esteemed cinematographer of such high-profile hits as Aliens, Thelma & Louise, The Mummy, and V for Vendetta, the latter completed just prior to Biddle's fatal heart attack in December 2005.--Jeff Shannon
Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 939
Collection Status In Collection
Purchase Date 7/28/2007
Links Amazon US
DVD Empire
Product Details
Edition Unrated Edition
Format DVD
Region Region 1
Screen Ratio 2.35:1
Layers Single Side, Dual Layer
UPC (Barcode) 012236201410
Release Date 10/24/2006
Subtitles English; Spanish
Packaging Keep Case
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo [CC]
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Making of An American Haunting
Director's Video Commentary
Interview with Director Courtney Solomon and Actress Sissy Spacek
Internet Promos
Deleted Scenes
Trailer and TV Spots