My last Surry Hills Library DVD review employed words like “integrity”. The word cannot be applied to An American Haunting (2005); a machine programmed to generate loud noises and special effects cliches, saving on lighting by turning the lights off*, must have been used to create it. What the input of the writer/director (Courtney Solomon) was, unless it was to be slave to the machine, I can’t say. Perhaps Brent Monahan’s original novel was better. It is said to be “based on” a true story, “based on” in the case of this movie meaning “Well, there was a true story there once, but we didn’t let that stop us…”
Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland should have known better.
For starters, it would be really nice, for a change, if this kind of pseudo-religious schlock showed even a passing knowledge of religion, especially of the religion of the people of 19th century Tennessee, the setting for most of the story. Now I am sure they believed all kinds of amazing things, but I am absolutely sure they would never have garbled their Bibles as the script — we are told here was one — calls upon the actors in this travesty to do; they sure as hell — sorry — would never have said Yahweh. “Jehovah”, maybe.