Monday, May 08, 2006


If you enjoy watching facsimile films which tear entire chunks from more lively precessors with an uncompromisingly lifeless vigor, then An American Haunting is your movie. For anyone else who respects those things that seem wholly unimportant these days like script and plot development, sit this one out. True, the film does star horror alumns Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland, yet in the wrong hands, these actors might as well be mannequins. Then there would be something original to the film, rather than their stabs like "ghosty cam," which of course whirls about the room and flickers from color to black and white, creepy dead girls (which should really be done away with altogether - especially the ones whom you touch and watch decay in a matter of seconds) and moral add-ons which render the triteness which you are watching unfold insurmountable. There is no mysterious tension which can make even the worst ghost story remotely compelling. Instead you have a blatantly studio set "haunted house" with more reshot scenes than not and a contemporary tie in that shows even less energy than the ahem... spiritless period segments. This film may have singlehandedly made me see far fewer big budget Hollywood films this summer. So, in retrospect, maybe it wasn't all that bad.


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