Well, it finally happened. Here I am, into middle age, and a movie comes along that gives me the first real live chill up the back of my neck.
I’m a pretty jaded horror movie buff. Blood and guts? No problem. Takes a lot to make me squirm. I’ve seen all the big ones and a lot of the little ones, and I’ve never experienced the actual chill that I’ve heard about for so long. That is until I watched An American Haunting.
I feel I have an advantage as a movie viewer because I lived in Japan for 3 years, and during that time became completely disconnected from American pop culture. There are dozens of movies about which I know nothing. That’s good when you want to go in with an open mind.
An American Haunting stars Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek. They play the parents of an early 19th century family in Tennessee. Their daughter Betsy, played by Rachel Hurd-Wood, is tormented by a terrifying entity. The entity might have been summoned as part of curse placed on the family by a neighborhood witch.
This is an interesting period piece that portrays life in the pre-Civil War South as a bit different than Gone with the Wind, and it was interesting to see a film with the guts–in this uber-Politically Correct age–to portray slaves as something besides oppressed victims of the White Man.
That chill I felt when the … oh, never mind. It was something I’ll remember for a while. I just wish more horror movies were able to do it.