An American Haunting Review

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Based on 'true events', or those documented as the only time in US history prescribing a man's cause of death to a spritit or entity. The man is John Bell, who was believed cursed by a witch, and was then visited by a spirit which harmed his family.


Courtney Solomon directed Dungeons & Dragons. Anything would be a step up after that, and this spook story doesn’t quite sink to those depths — but it’s still a tiresome mess.

In Tennessee in 1818, farmer Donald Sutherland seems to be cursed by a local witch — his daughter (Hurd-Wood) gets to replay scenes from The Haunting, The Exorcist, The Evil Dead and The Entity, while his wife (Spacek) tries to remember something horrid that explains it all and the local teacher (D’Arcy) gives up on rational explanations. It’s a noisy, busy effort with hand-wringing performances and a camera that won’t sit still to let any atmosphere creep in. Oh, and the big reveal about the haunting’s cause won’t surprise anyone.

It delivers crashes, bangs and whizzing-about in a manner more likely to give you a headache than shiver your spine, and it’s not silly enough to be entertaining.