I'm a longtime fan of this genre, getting acquainted with all the old classics and cult films through USA Saturday Night Horror when I was young, and continuing to see and love newer ones, such as The Ring, throughout college. However, when I go on a rant about the current state of horror movies, I tell people that today's movies make you heighten your sense of disbelief too much in order to be scared I call it "fantasy horror." There aren't enough movies like The Exorcist anymore where it absolutely feels real, like something that has always existed but you've just been lucky enough to avoid.
I loved The Haunting in Connecticut, because it is much closer to reality horror than fantasy, and I suppose that's because it's based on a true story. It just doesn't feel like it came straight out of someone's imagination. It was the kind of movie where, not only did I find myself wondering about the true story of the Snedeker family, but when I went to sleep that night, I couldn't help pondering the history of my own home and its previous tenants. If you're the type of person who loves horror movies, I assume that's the exact creepy way you want them to resonate.
Besides the background story, one of the other reasons I think this movie worked was because of the performance of Kyle Gallner. This young man plays a much more complex (and believable) protagonist than most of the ones I've seen in horror films lately, as his character, Matt, has a very familiar (and scary in its own right) disease that makes him question whether the haunting is real, or a symptom of his sickness. I venture to say that his character could have made an interesting movie even BEFORE the paranormal activity starts, but Gallner was exceptional in this role, and I think we'll still be talking about "the boy in The Haunting in Connecticut," 10 years from now.
So for true horror movie fans, I definitely recommend checking this one out. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with a horror movie based completely in fantasyland, like Nightmare on Elm Street, but the creepiest horror usually has a dose of reality. This film will scare you, it will make you think and it will leave a lasting impression.