Sarah Campbell (Virginia Madsen) is desperate to get the best possible treatment for her terminally ill son, Matt (Kyle Gallner). She relocates the family nearer to the clinic in Connecticut to avoid the long commutes that are too difficult for Matt. They rent a huge old house that was once a funeral parlour. Why do people do these things..? Would you live in a creepy looking old house that was once an old funeral parlour..? Hasn’t she heard of the Amityville Horror..?
As soon as they move in Matt decides to sleep in the basement and starts to see and hear things. He’s told not to mention it to anyone as if he has hallucinations he’ll be dropped from the experimental cancer treatment he’s undergoing. So the poor boy has to suffer, and suffer he does as his visions become clearer and more intense.
It turns out that the basement was the parlour morgue, oh, and where a bunch of horrific experiments took place for added measure… Matt is haunted by a spirit called Jonah who used to be a medium when séances where held at the parlour decades earlier… GET OUT, GET OUT NOW..!
But no, the family all suffer, his parent’s relationship starts to unravel under the pressure, his siblings see burned ghosts and his cousin is attacked in the shower.
Matt is told by Reverend Popescu that there are evil spirits in the house and that they can see him and he see them because he is near to death. Matt tries to communicate with them but things only get worse…
A Haunting in Connecticut isn’t a bad film. It’s just not a particularly good one either. However it’s better than most of the recent ‘haunting’ stories we’ve suffered through over the last few years.
The cast are all good; especially Virginia Madsen and Kyle Gallner who as the tortured Matt manages to convey the terrible symptoms of his sickness and his gradual mental decline.
Director Peter Cornwell manages to build the tension well during the first hour and overall delivers a fairly creepy movie. The cinematography is fine and the effects are done quite well. That is apart from the CGI ectoplasm shots. I hate obvious CGI effects in horror film as they immediately remove me from the moment.
The film is riddled with clichés but maybe all of these ‘based on a true story’ movies suffer from the same clichés because they all tend to happen in similar circumstances… allegedly. Or they suffer from lazy scriptwriters and lazy directors… probably.
Preferably check out ‘The Orphanage’, ‘The Devils Backbone’, ‘The Others’ and the Robert Wise movie ‘The Haunting’ a real classic.
Quality: 3 out of 5 stars
Is it good: 2 out of 5 stars