A young family moves into a historic home in Georgia, only to learn they are not the house's only inhabitants. Soon they find themselves in the presence of a secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.
Chad Michael Murray,
Charts one family's encounter with the dark forces of the supernatural. When the Campbell family moves to upstate Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlor where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner's clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to crossover. Now terror awaits when Jonah, the boy who communicated with the dead, returns to unleash horror on the innocent and unsuspecting family. Written by
Ultimately disappointing, even if I checked the closet an extra time
2009. The year of the almost good horror film. Less then half way through this movie season we have had a whole wad of horror/slasher/thriller movies that have come so close yet haven't make the cut. Instead, so far we only have The Univited that can lay claims to being a solid entry, but lagging behind in the just-not-good-enough clan is Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, The Last House on the Left and now The Haunting in Connecticut.
I have actually seen the Discovery Channel documentary of the same name and the movie is not exactly loyal, but does take numerous elements into consideration when crafting this consistently creepy but ultimately familiar ghost flick. I do enjoy a film that relies on atmosphere and character drama to build tension and a sense of dread over the Hostel philosophy that spend all your budget on fake blood is the best way to proceed. Yet, as with many fright flicks the director loses confidence in the audience to stay interested on atmosphere alone and perforates the story with boo moments and just enough clichés to make it forgettable.
Diagnosed with cancer, teenager Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) is suffering far more from the lengthy car rides to treatment then he is from his tragic disease. Taking charge, Matt's mother (Virginia Madsen) finds a rental property in Conneticut just a short trip from the clinic. Moving away from their hometown, Matt, his father (martin Donnovan), younger sister and brother (Sophi Knight and Ty Wood), cousin Wendy (Amanda Crew) and mother think that they have found a godsend in the old but charming property. But the home has ties to something far more satanic as strange occurrences begin to plague Matt. Is it his medication, or is something more sinister after the weakened teen?
Director Peter Cornwell builds tension very well throughout the opening half of the film, peppering the atmosphere with terrifying visions from the eyes of Matt. Like most horror films however, things begin to dissolve in the latter portions as we are introduced to the token priest, the boo moments mount and we are subjected to silly flashbacks that do nothing to heighten the mood back to its original lofty footing. Thankfully some credibility is returned in a extremely creepy climax that will make you reconsider hiring a home inspector next time you look to move.
The performances, especially from Madsen and Gallner are quite solid and they keep things grounded as best they can as things go awry. But presenting its PG rating as more of a limitation than an opportunity to raise the bar ultimately left me fairly numb, even if I checked the closet an extra time the night after.
6.5 / 10.0
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