Parents' Guide to

An American Haunting

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Incoherent and very grim curse/sex abuse story.

Movie PG-13 2006 91 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought this was a really good movie. It was really good I loved the school teacher he was awesome! I didn't get the whole abuse thing until I read the review so kids won't notice/understand it. Plus it wasn't scary at all it was weird though and hard to follow and at some times random. Over all a tres bien movie!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (6):

The overwrought, disjointed AN AMERICAN HAUNTING reportedly draws from a real life "documented" haunting in 1817 Tennessee, the "Bell Witch Haunting." This same case has inspired books (including the source for this script, a novel by Brent Monahan) and films. But while Courtney Solomon's movie is aesthetically intelligent, it does appear that something was lost in the editing: Scenes appear without clear connections or order, character motivations are lost, and logic (granted, not crucial in a scary movie) seems an afterthought.

The film proposes -- SPOILER ALERT -- that the cause of all the ruckus is John's sexual abuse of Betsy. Lucy writes, "In some way, it was a part of something that you created to protect yourself." But this "protection" is horrifically self-ravaging, and leaves Betsy damaged for life... and death. It appears that her haunting of the present-day girl is an effort to warn the mother that this daughter is also abused by her father. Be forewarned: This is a grim film. Betsy is assaulted repeatedly and viciously, a pattern that makes the movie painful to watch.

Movie Details

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