After a family is forced to relocate for their son's health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.After a family is forced to relocate for their son's health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.After a family is forced to relocate for their son's health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.
As if slowly dying from cancer isn't bad enough yet
I made a deal with myself a long time ago that, whenever I would watch a horror movie of which I know from beforehand that I probably end up hating it, I would try to keep an open mind and avidly search for at least one positive aspect! This can be almost anything, except for gratuitous boobs on display (too easy), but I'm primarily hoping for at least one innovative plot aspect or surprising story twist. My expectations for "The Haunting in Connecticut" were set very low, because this production clearly features a number of clichéd elements that I dislike the most: paranormal entities in an abandoned house, supposedly based on a true story (yeah, right ), probably copious amounts fake scares and predictable "boo!"-moments and an overload of irritating PG-13 approved digital effects. Yes, the film does feature all the above mentioned stuff, but to my surprise it was still relatively easy to find the innovative plot aspect! To my knowledge and unless if I'm overlooking a certain title – which is always possible with more than 3.500 reviewed horror movies - "The Haunting in Connecticut" is the first movie I've seen that makes a connection between terminal illness and being a paranormal medium. The protagonist, teenager Matt Campbell, suffers from a deadly form of metastatic cancer, and the fact that he continuously balances on the edge of life and death apparently makes him more receptive for paranormal activities. It's definitely not a world- shocking new twist to the ghost-movie sub-genre, but at least I found it acceptable. Since Matt can't physically handle the long car trips between their house and the specialized cancer clinic, his devoted mother Sara rents an extra house in Connecticut. The family can hardly finance this, but they stumble upon a large house that is very cheap due to its past as a funeral home with a macabre history. Matt immediately begins to see nightmarish things, like corpses with strange carvings all over and their eyelids cut off. Together with his older sister and a local priest, also a cancer patient, they dig up the house's history and discover that the original mortician – Mr. Aickman – also used the basement to organize séances. His young assistant Jonah was an exceptional medium who even produced ectoplasm, but one of the séances went horribly wrong and killed all participants including Aickman. Jonah's restless soul, as well as those of hundred others, are still inside the house and now manifest themselves through Matt. Poor kid As if dying from cancer and struggling through sickening special treatments isn't miserable enough already, he also has to face malevolent Connecticut ghosts! I didn't make any efforts to find out elements of the script are truthful and what others are fictionalized (the latter probably counts for 99%), but at least I can honestly state that this was one of the least annoying haunted-houses/paranormal entities movies that I watched since the new Millennium. I admit I'm a sucker for spooky old photographs and atmospheric black/white flashbacks set in the 1920s/1930s period, so "The Haunting in Connecticut" gains a couple of extra points for featuring this, and the special effects were adequate too. The film has a more than decent cast, with the lovely Virginia Madsen ("Candyman") as the concerned mother and Elias Koteas as the helpful priest. There's a sequel already, set in Georgia this time, and another one upcoming set in New York. After that I assume there will be 47 more of these movies, one for each state.
- Oct 14, 2015
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