An American Haunting

Rated 2.0

In 1817 in Tennessee, a respected farmer (Donald Sutherland) and his wife (Sissy Spacek) and daughter (Rachel Hurd-Wood) are beset by demons after he is accused of cheating a local woman in a business deal. Reputedly based on an authentic case (and actually adapted from a novel by Brent Monahan), director Courtney Solomon’s script is a catalogue of the standard Exorcist-style special effects, hammered home by Caine Davidson’s musical score, one of the most irritating and nerve-wracking assemblies of noise in movie history. Solomon (and Monahan) offers an “explanation” for the haunting that makes no sense and bookends the film with a completely pointless modern-day framing story. Sutherland, Spacek and Hurd-Wood give the material all the conviction they can muster—certainly more than it deserves.