Desperately looking for that leading lady cachet that comes only with starring in movies like Gothika, Dark Water and The Reaping, recent Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon has decided to leap aboard the genre wagon and earn herself some shrieks -- along with a nice paycheck from Universal.

Ms. Witherspoon has signed to star in something called Bell Witch. Apparently it's about a woman who becomes convinced that a legendary witch is out to harm her little baby. Eek! The screenwriter on the scene is Scott Kosar, a man who has dabbled in genre flicks solid (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), weak (The Amityville Horror) and surprisingly excellent (The Machinist). In addition to Bell Witch, Kosar is still working on that remake of Romero's The Crazies.

But when I said that Reese "signed" for the gig, that wasn't entirely accurate. Seems the actress took a fancy to a spec script called Our Family Troubles, and now that screenplay goes over to Kosar for a Witherspoon retrofitting. No word yet on who'll be directing Bell Witch, but I'm hoping it's not going to be someone safe, generic and boring.

An American Haunting was also based on the legend of the Bell Witch. For more info on the old gal, try Wiki.