Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oh, The Horror #18: An American Haunting

A few nights ago my god brother put this on and a few of us watched it. The story is essentially told from the basis of an old ghost story of American folklore taken place in the 1800s, the story of the Bell Witch Haunting. Donald Sutherland plays John Bell, the man of the house of his family who's house are being haunted by a witch. All the signs point to Kathe Batts, a woman who's land was stolen by John previously. She then curses John and his precious daughter. Soon enough, John finds himself being attacked by a spirit of a wolf while his daughter gets attacked and abused by an invisible force who pulls her sheets, tugs on her hair, makes her float into the air and then proceeds to constantly smack her face back and forth. This happens for many nights, the Bell family in shock and horror as nothing they do seems to work. Even trying to escape their house causes problems where the spirits track them down and nearly kills them until they have to get back into their house. Now, the story was in fact rather interesting but gets very repetitive. Characters outside the family start to help out, slaves, professor, etc, but nothing they do seems to help. As the attacks gets worse and worse, clues start to fall into place as to exact what the spirit wants and why it's haunting this family. The twist at the end when everything gets revealed I would say I saw coming but still was well done and felt it was one of my favorite parts in the movie. But I don't think it helped the movie in it's appealing factor. As stated previously, the movie seem to get rather repetitive and at times boring. It's the same thing over and over and it just leaves you feeling, "Eh, whatever. Next movie, please."

The performances are pretty good. Sutherland as John Bell, Sissy Spacek as his wife and distraught mother of Betsy Bell, the daughter being haunted and attacked. Overall, it's a whatever movie. I wouldn't recommend it and would tell you to just pass it.

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