The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

haunting in connecticut poster 2009 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 6/10

Strong acting

The film missed an interesting aspect of the story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Haunting in Connecticut

Studio:  Gold Circle Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  March 27, 2009

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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I hate all of you!

It is 1987, and Matthew Campbell (Kyle Gallner) is undergoing a rare and experimental cancer treatment.  In order to get their son closer to the hospital, Sara (Virginia Madsen) and Peter (Martin Donovan) rent a Connecticut home which further stretches their tight budget.  When Matthew begins seeing things in the home and it is revealed to be a former mortuary, Matthew is worried that it is a side effect of the medicine.  The truth is more horrible as the darkness and spirits begin to overtake the family and threaten their lives.

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So…anything new?

Directed by Peter Cornwell, The Haunting in Connecticut was a horror film which claimed to be based on true events.  The film was met with mostly negative reviews but a decent box-office draw.

With many remakes and sequels, it is always nice to see a new film with a new story presented on the screen.  Unfortunately, The Haunting in Connecticut is a bit of a snoozer and feels like so many other generic “haunted house” stories.

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This is going to take some renovations

The original story is based on In a Dark Place:  The Story of a True Haunting from 1992 by Ray Garton which told the story of Carmen Snedeker’s family (Garton allegedly didn’t agree with the film).  Aspects of the real story did make it into the movie, but the movie just doesn’t seem to have enough of a central theme.  I like the idea that people near death are more open to ghosts (hence why Matthew can see them), but I felt that the movie needed more to the story than this tie (plus, Matthew being cured of cancer feels like an afterthought).  The back story with the kid named Jonah (Erik Berg) and the channeling and bodies seemed much more interesting than the average family story which has been presented so many times since The Amityville Horror.

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I don’t feel well…

The best part of The Haunting in Connecticut is that the movie does have decent acting.  Kyle Gallner is quite strong as the son dealing with a most likely terminal case of cancer and has a nice back-up in the strong mother played by the always good Virginia Madsen.  I feel that the family doesn’t get developed enough (especially since they are the thrust of the movie) nor are the stories from the past and Jonah’s experiences really explored.  I do like Elias Koteas as Matthew’s confidant and fellow cancer patient Reverend Poescu.

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I thought we were going to have the campfire outside

The movie does go far enough visually.  Haunted house movies are ripe with scares and this movie doesn’t have many.  The movie tries too many times to play the “just out of sight” monster and does give enough true horror.  I wish the filmmakers had either truly created a distinctive creature or just stuck with regular haunting stuff with no physical manifestations.

The Haunting in Connecticut is a scary movie that misses the mark.  It is too bad that with a geat cast that the story couldn’t have been stronger and more developed.  With easy scares abounding, the movie just tries too hard and ends up failing.  The Haunting in Connecticut was followed by a sequel The Haunting in Connecticut 2:  Ghosts of Georgia in 2013.

Related Links:

The Haunting in Connecticut 2:  Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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