An American Haunting
The frights are few and the moment of horrific revelation is a big letdown in writer/director Courtney Solomon’s cinematic treatment of Brent Monahan’s novel "The Bell Witch: An American Haunting." A modern-day prologue, about a frightened girl living with her divorced mother in a snowy country house, gives way to 1800s Tennessee where patriarch John Bell (Donald Sutherland) is publicly humiliated in a court hearing for charging 20% interest on a loan he made to an impoverished neighbor suspected of being a witch. Reincarnated as John’s daughter, Betsy Bell (Rachel Hurd-Wood) soon becomes possessed by demonic interference that flings her young body around the house like rag doll. Sissy Spacek plays John’s anxiety-ridden wife Lucy.
Rated PG-13. 90 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)