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An American Haunting (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, Horror | 5 May 2006 (USA)
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Based on the true events of the only case in US History where a spirit caused the death of a man.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Bell
... Lucy Bell
... Richard Powell
... Betsy Bell / Entity Voice
... James Johnston
... John Bell Jr.
... Theny Thorn (as Zoë Thorne)
Gaye Brown ... Kathe Batts
Sam Alexander ... Joshua Gardner
Miquel Brown ... Chloe
... Elder #1
Shauna Shim ... Anky
Madalina Stan ... Ethereal Girl
... Partygoer (as Phillip Hurd-Wood)
Vlad Cruceru ... Richard Bell (aged 6)
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Storyline

In 2006, in Red River, Tennessee, a teenager has frequent nightmares. Her mother reads an old letter from 1817 written by her ancestor, Lucy Bell. After a dispute of lands judged by the church, her husband John Bell is cursed by his opponent Kathe Batts, who has a fame of being a witch. From this moment on, an entity threatens John and her daughter Betsy Bell, attacking the girl during the nights. With the support of Betsy's school teacher Richard Powell, who tries to find rational explanations for the manifestation; her brother John Bell Jr.; and their friend James Johnston, who unsuccessfully tries to exorcize the entity from the house, the family does their best to protect Betsy in the haunted house. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Possession Knows No Bounds


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense terror sequences and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apariciones  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£541,446 (United Kingdom), 16 April 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,783,508, 7 May 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,298,046, 23 July 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,612,137
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is actually based on a purportedly true story. Andrew Jackson was quoted as saying, "I would rather take on the entire English Fleet than stay one night at the Bell House," however his presence at the house is disputed and there are no official records that confirm he was actually present or witnessed any supernatural activity. The haunting is documented in M. V. Ingram's 1894 book, An Authenticated History of The Famous Bell Witch. This movie was based on the book by Brent Monahan,The Bell Witch: An American Haunting the Famous Bell Witch. However, the Ingram book has been called into question by researchers, who have noted that it's based on secondhand accounts and that no firsthand accounts to the haunting survive, and records from the time have not supported the story of the haunting. The Ingram book calls on quotes from letters and diaries but those documents no longer exist (if they ever did) and it is impossible to verify if the haunting actually happened or if it was a hoax or an early urban legend. Some researchers have even raised the possibility that the Ingram book was actually a work of fiction now mistakenly believed to be a factual account. See more »

Goofs

In a night scene where the light from the candles and fireplace are systematically blown out, James Johnston immediately picks up his Bible and begins reading in the dark. See more »

Quotes

Richard Powell: [of Betsy] Can she love me?
Lucy Bell: She will.
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Connections

References The Exorcist (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A complete and utter disappointment
7 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

This should have been a Lifetime movie (or even an after-school special), since it felt exactly like that kind of overly sentimental dreck. Even the actress playing the mother in the present day looked like she stepped out of a beginning acting class for The Very Sad Divorced Wife (i.e., big bulky sweater, mussed hair, a bottle of vodka next to her on the desk).

How disheartening to see a film that could have been a great period piece end up as a big-screen version of every "victim of the week" TV movie, circa 1992. One point in its favor: excellent set design (it's nice to see a movie set in the South that doesn't automatically recall the plantations of _Gone with the Wind_). But overall, what a sad, stupid waste of Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland's talents.


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