The Haunting In Connecticut

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Review byMatthew Turner30/03/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Watchable, well made and superbly acted horror movie with several strong scenes, though it's never remotely scary beyond a handful of the usual shock tactics.

What's it all about?
Based on a true story, The Haunting in Connecticut stars Kyle Gallner as cancer-stricken teenager Matt Campbell, whose family (including Virginia Madsen, Martin Donovan, Amanda Crew and young children Sophi Knight and Ty Wood) are forced to relocate to Connecticut so that he can be near an expensive treatment centre. However, no sooner have they moved into their large, creepy house than strange things start happening and it isn't long before Matt and his sister Wendy (Crew) discover that the place used to be a mortuary and is hiding a dark secret.

The Good
The Haunting in Connecticut is by no means a horror masterpiece, but it's much better than its lack of press screenings (and subsequent lack of reviews) would lead you to believe. For one thing it's well made, with strong special effects and atmospheric direction that doesn't rely on a screeching soundtrack or jumpy editing for its shocks.

The performances are equally good, particularly the sickly-looking Gallner and rising star Amanda Crew (from Sex Drive), while Madsen and Donovan are both great as Matt's parents. There's also strong support from Elias Koteas (who seems to be permanently channelling Robert De Niro these days and doing a better De Niro than De Niro) as a priest who agrees to perform an exorcism on the house.

The Bad
The film's signature moment involves a flashback character spewing forth ectoplasm during a seance. While this is undoubtedly creepy and weird and not something we've really seen on screen before, it also has the unfortunate effect of looking like the character is throwing up in zero gravity.

Similarly, the film is never particularly scary, beyond a few superficial jump-out-of-your-seat moments at the beginning. It's also guilty of the usual ‘Why don't they just get the hell out?’ style cliches.

Worth seeing?
The Haunting in Connecticut is a watchable and frequently creepy haunted house movie with decent effects and strong performances. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 19/03/2019 19:09

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