Friday, October 4, 2013

Horrorthonpalooza 2013: The Bell Witch Haunting (2013)



I like horror movies. I guess I love horror movies. Not all horror films are created equal. Fans know that. We search and search and hope that our chosen movie will be good or really, really bad in a fun way. However, sometimes horror movies like any other genre are just bad. Not the so bad you have to mock them bad – bad boring. And, sadly, that is what turned up tonight.

The previous three movies: Stalled, The Seasoning House, and American Mary… Two Thumbs Up!

The Bell Witch Haunting (2013)… Two Thumbs shoved directly into the eyes.

This picture has nothing to do with the movie.
When I watch a movie and I look at the timer and the movie has only been playing 19 minutes but I think an hour has passed. Not a good sign.

This movie was directed by Glenn Miller who previously was the assistant chief lighting technician on Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan. I would list the actors but I can’t seem to find much in the way of information on this movie. I could have watched the credits but I was eager to press stop as soon as possible. I’m not even certain where I found this screener as the movie is not due to be released until November 5 th .

The Bell Witch Haunting is another found footage movie. I am sick of these things. To be honest I really liked the Blair Witch Project. Watching it in a proper theater with super surround sound was crucial to the enjoyment of that film. I have not been a film of 99% of what followed Blair Witch.

Take the popular Paranormal Activities movies… they somewhat make sense. You suspect something is happening and so you install cameras to investigate. This would be a proper response if you thought a raccoon was getting into your garbage. They actually watch the footage and take note when their tables explode and their babies are dragged across the floor.

The Bell Witch Haunting? Nope. Sure they are filming all the time and things constantly happen but they never think to watch the footage. If they do watch the footage then they never react. Brutal murders take place in this movie (not that we see) and the parents still allow their kids to walk around in the woods at night. The dad spits up bloody poo poo and everything is fine the next day.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Bell Witch it is an entity that haunted the John Bell family starting in 1817. John Bell moved his family from North Carolina to Robertson County, Tennessee. They settled in the Red River area – eventually Adams, Tennessee. One day while hunting Bell discovered an animal in his corn field. This animal had the head of a rabbit and the body of a dog. Bell shot at the creature but it vanished. From that moment on the family was terrorized by noises and physical manifestations. The Bell Witch became stronger eventually capable of carrying on conversations. It quoted scripture but also continuously promised to kill John Bell.

All of this information would have been useful up front but it is not mentioned until deep into the movie… and then only because two of the boys are literally looking at the Wikipedia page on the Bell Witch.

This movie states clearly that it takes place in January. In the very first scene the family celebrates moving to Adams with a pool party. I have lived in Tennessee. You don’t have pool parties in January. I can forgive the occasional palm tree and non-indigenous fern… but really… a pool party in January? Pitiful.

I just realized this movie was released by The Asylum. I guess Sharknado 3: The Bell Witch is already halfway in the can thanks to this movie. Would I recommend this movie? No. I do, however, applaud the director Mr. Miller for making a movie. I respect all attempts to add more horror to the shelves. I say shelves using the old notion of video stores. Ah, nostalgia.

I look forward to Miller’s next film and hope The Asylum continues their fine tradition of making movies. Eventually one will be awesome.

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