The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

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“After a family is forced to relocate for their son’s health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.” — IMDb

It’s got a basic premise that many of us could describe in our sleep. Family with a sick kid is forced to relocate and ends up renting a haunted house that used to be a funeral home. Turns out the people who worked at said funeral home did some really messed up things (necromancy, etc) and there’s now a bunch of spirits attached to the house (on purpose) and chaos ensues. Sick kid has visions and sightings of said spirits that are chalked up to his cancer treatments initially but then shit hits the fan and all hell breaks loose.

I have to say, when this movie started up I had high hopes. As repetitive and unoriginal as they can be, I tend to really like haunted house movies. And as bland and unemotional as the mother, Sara (played by Virginia Madsen) was, the son, Matt (played by Kyle Gallner) was actually pretty great. Beyond that… I don’t have many good things to say about it.

It’s supposedly loosely based on a true story, a haunting that Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated at the home of Allen and Carmen Snedeker and their four children. There have been several people who have tried to discredit this story, so who knows if it’s true or not. Plus the movie tended to take quite a few liberties so it’s not all that accurate either.

I thought that the special effects were super cheesy — every vision of carved up people just made me giggle. Most of Matt’s “nightmares” were predictable. The parents’ grief over his cancer was SO forced and stereotypical it hurt — there is literally a scene where the mom is clutching a rosary while screaming “YOU CAN’T TAKE MY SON!” and the dad is swigging vodka and smashing an electric guitar against an amp. The ectoplasm scene I think COULD have been cool but the overdone effects just made it comical.

An unfortunate miss, since I think something more interesting could have been done with the plot.

Rating: 1/10 | Director: Peter Cornwell | Writers: Adam Simon & Tim Metcalfe | Music: Robert J. Kral | Starring: Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Martin Donovan

 

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