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The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)

PG-13 92 minutes

Directed by Peter Cornwell
Written by Adam Simon, Tim Metcalfe

 · Virginia Madsen
 · Kyle Gallner
 · Elias Koteas
 · Martin Donovan
 · Amanda Crew

Review by Reel American Hero (Mike Keskeys)

Horror movies based on true stories always face a certain stigma about them, the whole how can this purport to be true, the family must be lying that sort of thing.  It happened before with The Amityville Horror and it's happened again to an extent here with the 2009 horror film, The Haunting In Connecticut.  However in this case the film distances itself somewhat from the truth of whether or not these events took place by claiming only that it's based on true events, in which case you can stretch the truth however you want to to make for a good story. 




In 1987 the Campbell family moved into a house in Connecticut to be closer to the hospital where their son Matt (Kyle Gallner-Smallville) was receiving cancer treatment.  All seemed well until it was discovered that the house, in years past was a funeral home where seances were also conducted, and that the spirits of the dead were trapped within the walls.  Kyle starts to see things before the rest of the family, being that as he's dying, he's more sensitive to things from the other side.   Soon enough though all hell breaks loose and the family has to figure out what's going on and how to survive. 

  If the plot sounds somewhat familiar that's because it is.  It's hard to do a horror movie based on true events without it seeming like a rip off of The Amityville Horror.  The script by Tim Metcalfe (Revenge of the Nerds), and Adam Simon (Carnosaur) is very atypical of a haunted house type movie.  It's a flawed script in that you don't really get enough development with the characters of the family, other than that Matt has cancer, and the parents Sara and Peter are going through hard financial times in addition to that.  Also, the undeveloped characters of the family are rather bland, so the first two thirds of the movie are rather boring, and almost made me want to turn off the movie, not from fear, but from boredom.

However, the movie does pick up in the last act, including a rare scare scene that actually got me, which is saying something considering how many horror films I've seen over the years.  I also really dug the concept here that dying people are more sensitive to the realm of the supernatural.  Not sure if that's been done in a horror film before, but it works.  

 The acting in the film is decent, but the script never really gives the cast anything to work with for the most part, so  you can't really say much other than that they worked well enough with the material they had.  And I have to say I didn't care for the ending at all, it just struck me as too much Hollywood crap to give it a 100% happy ending. 





  There are plenty of scares to be had in this movie, most of which are ruined somewhat by the atypical scary music sting accompanying  the scare.  I wasn't fazed by 98% of them though, and for the most part it seemed as though the movie was taking it's scare designs from those Mind$%($ pictures on the internet.  You know the ones, 'When you see it, bricks will be $#@*.   And the one scare seemed to be put it only to get a PG-13 glimpse of actress Amanda Crew (Sex Drive) in the shower.  




With all that being said, with all the crappy horror movies that Hollywood puts out this is one of the ones that isn't that bad, and actually has a good scare or two in it.  It's not the best movie out there, nor is it anything remotely close to the events it's based on, but you could do worse than watching The Haunting In Connecticut.  Till next time, be sure to keep it Reel.

651 Words Published: 30 July 2009

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