There have been a lot of Paranormal Activity knock-offs over the last several years since that film became its own enduring franchise. The Bell Witch Haunting (2013) is a subpar knock-off of a far more superior film. Brandon Sawyer (Andrew Hellenthal) is an inspiring young film maker whose family has just moved into a new home. Unbeknownst to them the house that he and his family have moved to once belong to the Bell Family which is ground zero for numerous hauntings.
When his sister starts acting strangely, Brandon decides to start filming her and the rest of the family in hopes of discovering what is really going on with his family. At first it’s just a simple film but when his sister starts having violent nightmares and his friends start showing up dead the situation becomes dire as he realizes that there may be no escape from what is haunting him and his family.
Unfortunately for this film that it gets off with a rocky start and never recovers. Directed by Glenn Miller (uncredited) the film is done in the style of a found footage film using camcorder, security cameras, video blogs, and police cameras. Everything is thrown into the mix to keep you interested in the characters but the characters simply are not interesting and the plot meanders with very little direction especially at the half way point. The film becomes an exercise in futility. Now things do pick up in the third at when people start dying and the haunting/possession becomes more apparent but there is nothing new that you haven’t seen before.
One of the biggest travesties in the film is the fact that Brandon catches his first sign of a paranormal incident early on in the film on camera but he never responds to the indistinguishable evidence of the paranormal. In fact, there are several documented incidents before anyone in the Sawyer family bother to ever take notice. It all becomes tedious after a while leaving the viewer to believe that the film is compiled of completely incompetent people.
This is not a film with intelligent characters anywhere to be found and if you’re looking for this type of film just stick with the superior Paranormal Activity and its sequels.