Wednesday, October 27, 2010

13 Nights of Hallowe'en 2010: Night #9 An American Haunting (director's cut)

Last night we had a pretty scary haunting movie. Well get ready for a much more impressive haunting. I won't mislead you, this is more of ahorror movie, which I think to a degree lessens the scares, but your mileage may vary. An American Haunting is loosely based on the real life haunting of John and Lucy Bell, played by Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek. The true story is one of the more infamous hauntings and fairly well documented given the time frame. The ghost was referred to as the Bell Witch. In 1819 General Jackson--yes later President Andrew Jackson--was even witness to the handiwork of the witch. Of course that isn't a part of the movie but wow, a U.S. president with an account of not only a ghost but a ghost witch. For reference as the title says I'm going with the director's cut. I cannot speak to the theatrical version.

Rounding out the cast is Rachel Hurd-Wood as the daughter Betsy Bell, and James D'Arcy who appeared in Exorcist: The Beginning (released just the year before)--that was the good prequel with the doctor and the hyenas--as the local schoolteacher. The general premise is that John Bell's house is haunted shortly after a land dispute with a woman considered by many to be a witch--FYI the witch woman had died before the real historical haunting. Betsy receives the worst of the torment from the very active ghost. The movie also opens and closes with scenes from the modern day. These scenes are a point of contention among some viewers. They are part of a small secondary plot added to the movie--at least I'd never heard it conjectured of the real story--which in itself sits unwell with some fans. I don't let it detract from the rest of this movie.

Just a final FYI, the real Bell Witch was frequently referred to as a poltergeist even though it spoke, among other vocal things, claimed the identity of the dead woman, and acted more intelligently, not to mention maliciously.

Mood: eager.

Music: Wake The Dead by Alice Cooper. MP3s

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