I have to figure that the success of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE gave this one the green light. Also based on a true story, also involving a young girl being assaulted by... 

...but where EXORCISM paid equal attention to the supernatural and medical possibilities behind the phenomenon, AMERICAN HAUNTING keeps things unequivocally paranormal--the question begging an answer here is not HOW, but WHY. 

Maybe I was tired. The film achieves the proper 19th-century atmosphere, and you can't go wrong with Donald Sutherland or Sissy Spacek (not that she could save RING 2 or anything). And the final twist (with its relevance to the completely-made-up modern day wraparounds) was suitably distressing. 

But the film was still completely by the numbers in its would-be-scary scenes. Zappity-pow editing, nuclear fingernail sound effects, creepy faces popping up, etc. etc. And without the genuine intrigue of an EMILY ROSE scenario to compel attention, I grew very weary... very quickly. 

And THIS they open against MI-3? Kiss THIS one goodbye--I may know MY priorities, but WHAT were they THINKING? 

You probably wouldn't mind waiting for the DVD anyway, though. It means well and has some value, but it just isn't that special.
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