Critic Reviews

38

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
Yet another light weight PG-13 film that poses rather well as an honest to goodness horror film.
70
Solomon crafts a quality horror piece from strong performances and effects. The chief disappointment of An American Haunting is that it doesn't exploit more opportunities for the sublime subtlety of performances by Sissy Spacek and, especially, Donald Sutherland.
60
Variety
A well-made, good-looking movie it is, but between the non-stop tumult and the sense of deliberateness about its period authenticity, An American Haunting produces a lot of screaming, crying and cruelty, but not much drama.
50
Village Voice
The movie exhausts its blast-in-the-face scares through repetition. A wasted opportunity-- especially since the events as reported scarcely need embellishing.
50
Entertainment Weekly
The unnecessarily famous cast for such a standard, creaking, fake-spooky ghost story (with Bible verses thrown in for good measure).
50
This is a well-packaged film that arrives like a nicely wrapped Christmas present, full of promise and potential. Then you unwrap it and discover that it's just another electric gravy boat and, worse, it's still got the price tag attached.
50
Throughout the film, doors slam, windows shatter and poor, battered Betsy wakes up screaming with tiresome regularity; even Sutherland appears bored by it all.
40
L.A. Weekly
Despite their appeal to patriotic horror fans, the makers of An American Haunting end up doing more harm than good to domestic fright production.
40
An American Haunting purports to be based on a documented event, although most of its inspiration has been drawn from the empty well of "The Exorcist" and its progeny.
40
At times, the narrative thread slips the movie's grasp and there are flat spots in which characters just scream and thrash. Given what its ending aims for (don't ask), such interludes feel flabby and gratuitous even with Sutherland and Spacek providing gravitas to the ghoulishness.

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