An American Haunting is your classic haunted house movie (of course, I mean, look at the title). At the beginning of the movie it shows a young girl holding a knife to her bedroom door, which is rattling, you’ve all heard it before. It then quickly switches to the young girl’s mother waking her up, oh guess what? It was just a dream. How original. Anyway, after the mom finds this broken porcelain doll in her daughters room, which the daughter found in the attic which is apparently off limits. Mom takes a shot of Absolut Vodka, (I love finding product placement in movies) and it suddenly switches to the 19th century,with new characters and more fucked up shit going on.
John Bell, the father in this new 19th century setting, is in the court room, settling a dispute about property theft. The case held in court isn’t important to the plot, but after the jury has made their decision, the woman on the other side of the issue, who was heard of to be a witch, told him as he was leaving the courtroom that she was going to curse him and his precious little girl, Betsy Bell. He kind of just shrugged it off until Betsy started being attacked at nighttime, she’d get thrown across her bedroom and her hair being ripped out; and in the daytime she was having visions of another little girl who would just disappear at random. Her family, an extremely religious friend and her school teacher all team up to try and get rid of the evil spirit that now lay upon their house. Good fucking job you damn witch.
Now read over that paragraph about half a dozen times. This film does get pretty repetitive with the attacks and such, getting worse and worse until Betsy is pretty much a lifeless doll, but there wasn’t much variation in the attacks, the visions and nightmares about attacks the family was having had more action and were more interesting than the real attacks themselves. Another thing that bothers me is how damn perfect Betsy looks throughout the whole movie. I mean, if I was up all night being fucking attacked night after night and seeing shit I would not look the same. Betsy should have looked haggard as fuck even halfway through the movie. Maybe I just have watched too many exorcism movies, but it just didn’t convince me at all.
It didn’t scare me at all, which was another disappointment of the film. I would have liked a little jump scare now and again. It appears as if they tried but it wasn’t effective at all. And I’m an anxiety-stricken pussy so for a real horror fan it would have been even less impressive. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this movie, it had a disturbing twist which I cannot and will not reveal in this review, it just has some flaws that I could not avoid stating. It’s worth watching for sure if you can look past the flaws I mentioned, I’m just very picky and notice little things about that.
All in all, I’m going to give it a relatively decent score because the storyline was amazing, they just could have paid a little more attention to the little things that I have noticed.
Score – 80%
Gore – 1/10