The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) Poster

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7/10
Predictably clichéd. But, surprisingly well made.
GirishGowda23 May 2010
Sara Campbell (Virginia Madsen) and her husband, Peter Campbell (Martin Donovan) decide to move to Connecticut when the long journey for the treatment of cancer to her son, Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) is taking a huge toll on his body. The 5 children and her move into a cheap rental home, but it is quite huge. The father stays back at his job and only comes to Connecticut at weekends. The house has a history behind it. It was actually a mortuary in the 1920's, where Ramsey Aickman was famous for his seances which were attended by Harvard professors and all kinds of big shots. He had an assistant Jonah, who was a kid, and he was a medium who could amplify the nature of these seances. During one of their seances, all the sitters around the seance were killed, except Jonah who was never found again. But now Jonah is haunting Matt and things start to get weirder as the days go by.

This film is 'based on a true story'. How many times have we seen a horror movie which proclaims itself to be based on true events? Most of the times its just a cheap trick to make more money. So, I had decided long back never to watch a horror movie by thinking that it was actually a true event. This film is clichéd and sort predictable upto a point. Do we have a kid who can see ghosts? Check. Do we have parents who think he is hallucinating? Check. Some cute adorable children? Check. A haunting history to the place? Check. A guy of faith to help them in their time of need? Check. A friend who will believe Matt? Check. Cats or other animals possessed? No. Surprising, isn't it? Possessed animals are quite a hit among horror movie directors. Anyway, the thing which makes the movie a believable true story is the ending in which Sara says her son is fine and has no cancer now. That would be a kind of proof that this was a true story.

Even with all of the clichés, this is a very well made movie which is worth a watch. The real high point of the movie is Kyle Gallner who gives a haunting performance as Matt, the cancer kid who can see the dead. We can see the subtle change in him when he is kind of possessed by the ghost, in the scene where he makes his little brother sleep on a metal table used for autopsies in the funeral room and spins the boy round and round and the look on Matt's face was extremely creepy. He is truly an amazing actor and looks frightening throughout the movie. Virginia Madsen needs no special mention, we all know that she was an Oscar nominee and a good actress. She pulls in the necessary requirement of the character. Elias Koteas as Reverend Popescu didn't do enough justice to the role. That's just my opinion. The father character played by Martin Donovan did a good job, except in the drunk scene, where it really didn't add anything to the story. The graphics are quite cool and it is very stylistically shot which makes it quite a good horror movie. The editing is slick and the ghost scenes look really cool. There are no false jump scares and the background score is well done.

7/10
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9/10
Horror Grounded in Reality is Back, Finally!
steelydwill24 March 2009
I'm sure it helped that I was in the right mood and the right atmosphere when I saw this movie at a midnight screening at South by Southwest, but The Haunting in Connecticut was a horror movie that really struck a chord with me.

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.
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7/10
Haunting in Connecticut keeps Casper in Wyoming
MovieZoo27 March 2009
I really did hesitate to see this movie because I had not seen many that have interested me since the days of Poltergeist - one exception being The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I loved both despite the obvious difference in style.

I found The Haunting In Connecticut disturbingly fun. It definitely had its own style which at times made me wonder when the signs of it bombing were going to appear. I think that was part of why I enjoyed it because it never did disappoint me. This mixture of reality and the supernatural kept me on the edge of my seat. Was it the trauma of cancer causing so much grief for this family or the chilling(yet burning), hidden secrets of the dead in this funeral home that kept expectations from settling on one aspect or the other? The fact is both were enough to draw attention away from the other while we try to make our own conclusions.

An innocent, everyday family deals with the possible, yet probable death of young Matt, who at times suffers excruciatingly from dealing with the unknown and death that he is convinced is his destiny. Squeezed between what is and may be real was enough, but then deal with the likes of a stranger who claims to be a reverend...c'mon, this is classic stuff. You can't take all this in without suffering a little, especially when the family itself starts to fall apart when they need to stick together.

While there are some questions that may not be answered, the story itself was more than satisfying. Special effects were kept to a minimum but used effectively and when needed. Acting was not Oscar worthy but good enough to make it all seem real. Fun when you want it and scary when you need it.

It's definitely a 7/10
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8/10
Do not understand the bad reviews!
SexiLoverGirl32015 July 2009
So before I watch any movie I come here to see what it is about and what other people thought of it. I came here to see about The Haunting in Conneticut, and most of the reviews I seen were bad. I wasn't looking forward to this movie because of it, but I had a chance to watch it at a friend's house, and I was completely amazed by what people thought about it.

Now I am not going to say it was the best haunting movie ever because it wasn't, but the movie as a whole was pretty good. The acting was good, it made you feel for the characters in the movie (espically the boy), it was definitely different as far as the plot, and even though the scary moments weren't terrifying, there were plenty of them to keep me interested.

This movie has a lot of what you would call assumed and interpreted stuff in it. I'd bet a lot of that got cut, so it is up to the user to interpret and assume what they were going for. Maybe some people aren't smart enough to do that and need the in your face drama/horror to be satisfied. I love movies that make you think, and also movies that someone else said...a reality movie. These other movies like nightmare on elm street and all those coming back from the dead killing people for 10 plus movies are just fantasy. Some would argue hauntings are also, but I do not agree. Maybe not to the extent of the movies, but I do believe in real hauntings. The movie people have to make it interesting and I am not one to bash them for it :) Overall, The Haunting in Conneticut is a good movie. I will not tell you what happens :) but I will tell you that do not always listen to what other people think. This movie was well acted, had some very innovative scenes, the plot itself while not completely different from other movies was made it's own and I do not think it deserves the bad reviews it got. I enjoyed it.

One last thing before I go. People who watch movies just to pick them apart have no business writing reviews for it. Critics have their job for a reason, so leave it to them to defile a movie. Sit there and enjoy the movie. That's it. You do not have to sit there and try to guess what happens next. You do not have to pick apart the acting and how bad you think they are. I understand when the movie really is crap, I've seen a lot of those too, but if you have seen so many movies and can't sit there and watch a movie and enjoy it for what it is then keep your opinions to yourself!
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9/10
Truly scary and not in a predictable way
brunoncosta14 July 2009
I have to vote 9 out of 10 for this one! I really don't get impressed that easily with horror movies and I wasn't really excited to see this one ... it was just another night with another horror movie..

But then ... I was amazed with the director's geniality and the way he can scare us when we least expect.

It kind of reminds me of movies like The Exorcism of Emily Rose but in a good way ... it's dark, it's cool and a nice movie to watch if you want to be amazed with a movie. You really get the nerves on during the movie and it plays you well. As for the acting, it is quite obvious but all in all it's not that bad. You can really see the effort to make it look real. The soundtrack has its way through your brain not getting that much annoying and keeping you awake in case you're watching it at a late time. Although it is really difficult to fall asleep cause you often get a surprise or two ... and people pop out of nowhere... That's the good part! Enjoy it ;-)
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9/10
Best horror movie made in a while,
carolpop337 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Although this movie is not original and pretty cliché, it gives enough gasping, jumping and chilling moments to make it one of the best haunted house movies made in years in my book.

This movie has no gore-- unless you count the feeble amount of blood in the beginning, a few needle moments and some eye cutting and skin writing but nothing too nasty. If you hate gore- like me- and actually like good scares then I recommend this movie.

The acting is superb, Matt can make you believe anything, with his creepy smiles and the true scare and possessed look in his eyes, he is an actor worth watching and can really put on a show. His ragged breaths, and shaking limbs can give you a scare on its own.

And the ending, I loved it in particular, since I am a sentimental girl and a sucker for heroic endings. The climax leading to the ending is what got me and put everything together, with the hauntings, the weird visions and that burned boy.

All in all, this delivers actual scares, with a lot of gasping and jumping moments and will actually make chills run up and down your spine and maybe shed a tear or two. Great movie, props to everyone who made it happen, definitely gonna watch it again.
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7/10
Ultimately disappointing, even if I checked the closet an extra time
Simon_Says_Movies1 June 2009
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

Read all my reviews at: http://www.simonsaysmovies.blogspot.com
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9/10
Best Ghost Movie in Years
scryon27 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I saw The Haunting in Connecticut pretty much as soon as I could the day it came out. I don't know why, really, it just seemed interesting in the previews. I'm extremely glad I got to see it.

The movie starts off pretty shaky, showing generic creepy looking pictures and stuff in the opening credits. You'll be thinking "oh great, here we go again.." The movie starts to gradually pick up, showing a pretty sad story of a family that's been in some trouble with a 16-ish year old son Matt who has cancer and a dad who is recovering from alcoholism. The family decide to rent a house in Connecticut near the hospital Matt is going to, pretty much to make it easier for them to get Matt treated and whatnot.

Obviously, some weird stuff starts happening in the house. Matt starts seeing things, blah blah. You've all seen stuff like this before. There are some key elements that make this movie stand out from other horror movies involving ghosts.

For a movie that's PG-13, there are some ballsy scenes here. One that particularly stands out in my mind is where a mysterious man is scratching words onto some man's skin, and then he proceeds to cut off his eyelid with scissors. That's serious business.

Another thing that makes this movie a lot better is the lack of stupid little children ghosts that crawl around and make creaky noises and the lack of needless nudity and blood. This movie has no deaths or gore or stupidly awkward-moving ghosts.

The movie isn't so much scary as it is pulse-pounding and jumpy. I, a crazy horror movie fanatic, even jumped multiple times in this movie. The director really knows how to pull out a ghost at the perfect times and make you nearly pee your pants.

The rest of the movie is predictable, but satisfying. There are no needless twists at the end of the movie, like the ghost coming back out from the ashes or something. The end of the movie is the end, everything is happy.

All in all, if you think ghost horror movies have declined in the past ten years, think again, cause this movie breaks the mold. It's a fantastic ghost story and I would recommend to any horror fan.
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5/10
The Warrens show up again
BandSAboutMovies8 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
We just love when a movie is "based upon true events." This one is all about Carmen Snedeker and her family, though Ray Garton, the author of In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting has publicly distanced himself from the veracity of his book.

In this film, the Campbells as they move into a former mortuary so that their son, who is fighting cancer, has a place closer to the hospital. Before you know it, the house is attacking all of them.

Sara Campbell (Virginia Madsen, Candyman) and her recovering alcoholic husband Peter are struggling to care for their son Matthew, who is battling cancer. They rent a house closer to the hospital that is unbelievably cheap, but that's because it was once a mortuary. Soon, Matthew has visions of an old man carving symbols into corpses and discovers the door to the mortuary.

As he's getting chemo, Matthew meets Reverend Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas, forever Casey Jones from the Ninja Turtles movie, but he's also in Crash) and tells him all about the visions. The movie doubles down on the mortuary by showing seances that were also conducted in the house. A man named Ramsey Aickman ran these seances, but one led to everyone dying except for a boy named Jonah, who disappeared. It also seems that Aickman may have been a necromancer. As we're searching for a new home, you better believe I'm going to do the paranormal research while my wife looks into the easy stuff like the house's foundation and electrical system.

This is another movie touched by the hands of Earl and Lorraine Warren. They are the ones that claimed that the Snedeker house was "a former funeral home where morticians regularly practiced necromancy and that there were powerful supernatural forces at work that were cured by an exorcism." There is the claim that the aforementioned author Ray Garton was employed by the Warrens to write the story, instructed by Earl, "You've got some of the story - just use what works and make the rest up... Just make it up and make it scary."

The film was followed by a sequel, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, which is amazing in that it contains two states geographically equidistant from one another, and another film, The Amityville Murders: A Haunting on Long Island.
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7/10
In the Borderline of Two Worlds
claudio_carvalho26 July 2009
Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) has a terminal cancer and is submitted to an experimental treatment in the St. Michael's Hospital Goatswood in Connecticut. The responsible for the trial, Dr. Brooks (D.W. Brown), advises that if Matt starts seeing things, he should drop the experiment. His religious mother Sara (Virginia Madsen) drives almost eight hours with her son since he has nausea and needs to vomit during the travel. She proposes her husband Peter (Martin Donovan), who had trouble with booze, to rent a house in Connecticut to be close to the hospital despite their second mortgage. Sara finds an old house with an affordable price and she questions the catch to the owner and he explains that the house has a history, since it was a funeral home in the past. Sara hides the truth from Peter and the family moves to the house. While in the treatment, Matt befriends Reverend Popescu (Elias Koteas), who has also cancer. When Matt has weird visions and nightmares from the past, he calls Popescu that tells him that an evil entity is trapped in the house and they are able to see him because they are in the borderline of the worlds of the living and the dead.

"The Haunting in Connecticut" is an above average movie of haunted house since it blends a very well developed family drama with spooky scenes of a ghost story. There are many realist situations like the bad financial situation of the Campbells that are usually forgotten in American movies. Further, there is a beautiful message of faith, and Sara truly believes that God works in a mysterious way. The drinking problem of Peter and how it affected the relationship with Sara is just glanced and could be better explored. I do not like the sensationalism that highlights on the cover of the DVD that the story is based on a true event since this movie is better than that. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Evocando Espíritos" ("Evoking Spirits")
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9/10
Scared me awake...
nabeel112728 March 2009
This movie did honestly scare the crap out of me. All I watch is scary movies, and I never get scared, especially with the crap they produce lately. But this one was different. Yes, they used cheap scares, and noises, and "dark man in corner" tricks.. but really, after a few decades of scary movies, new tricks become sparse. The only difference becomes the execution of the cheap trick, and I thought the execution was very good. And I see a lot of people talking about how its "just another ghost story"... well, yes. Ghosts haunt houses, appear in your sleep, bother you, scare you... the works. That is agreed on by those of us who believe in ghosts. Plus, a ghost haunting a random neck of the woods would just be stupid (or a stupid twist to Jason). Only reason I didn't give the movie a 10 was because they had some stupid stuff happening (like taking a shower in a house you officially know is haunted). Cast was well picked, script was pretty decent. Go watch it.

OH, and the story, not even all that predictable.. and I should know, I guessed the end of the first two Saw movies.
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10/10
like a very rare wine in the vineyard
petit7617 August 2009
you may be reading some weird comments over the movies i went on rant here at this web site under my name which is Evren Buyruk but I am trying to give you guys the core notion i absorb from movies.Yes,I wanted to post the wine comment on the summary area 'cause I do believe this movie is like one of the rare classics of horror movie genre.I'm sure it helped that I was in the right mood and the right atmosphere when I saw this movie at a midnight screening at South by Southwest, but The Haunting in Connecticut was a horror movie that really struck a chord with me.

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 fantasy-land, 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.Evren Buyruk from USA
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5/10
Follows the basic structure of a haunted house movie.
Aaron137531 March 2009
Basically this movie is like a more gruesome haunted house tale than the original Amityville or a less gruesome haunted house tale than the Amityville remake. However, the movie most certainly follows the flow of those two movies. I would have actually given this movie a six, but they kept trying to make out like this story was pure fact and that rather ticked me off, I mean what do they take me for a moron. I know a bit about the story it is taken from and there are so many differences it is pathetic. I realize that you have to add some stuff or the movie is going to be kind of boring, heck I am even for embellishing the story to the degree this one did, but do not have the this serious voice over telling me how this is true and have the writing at the end tell an out right lie. So what is the story you ask? Well a teenage boy has cancer and his mother is having to drive him a great distance quite often for a special treatment. Mother decides to find a place to rent closer to the place the son gets treatments so he does not have to endure the long drive in pain and vomiting. Of course, the family's financial situation is not to good so when the house with the history comes up for rent you know our family is going to make that their new stomping ground. So spooky reflections and such start to take place as well as strange visions and we even have a reverend enter the picture to give our youth guidance. So yes, the typical haunted house formula is here. Add in a pointless stretch of film where the father drinks and you have your movie, though I am betting that part of the film is actually true, but they changed so much around why not just omit that part all together as it really did not bring anything to the film. So I say add some more scares, perhaps a little gore, do not try to pass off the movie as being a reenactment or something and this film might have been really good...just like a lot of horror movies it is usually might have is it not?
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8/10
Go Ahead and SEE this movie!!!
karanvij7728 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am usually least interested to see a horror movie. And after finally making up my mind, i went ahead and watched it. It is surprisingly an amazing movie. It has an element of reality and truthfulness. It will not make you repent after you come out of your seat. Has very good story line and at the same time, moves with good pace. The actors have done marvelous role and i specially liked the role of the kid ( who has played a role of a victim) , he has held the character very well and made the movie even more realistic.

The are some spooky scenes in the movie which can drive you nuts and make you dance on your seat. The direction and the sound effects are simply out of the world. The thing that makes it even more beautiful is that, it is based on a true story. So it actually makes you think.

At the end i would say, personally i really liked this movie and I would recommend you to see it. Don't wait until the DVD comes out, it has its own feel on the big screen. Enjoy!
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9/10
Good movie, it was everything I hoped it would be!
reeves200228 March 2009
I saw the documentary on the discovery channel and to be honest was thinking the whole thing was fake just like the hype (and hoax)of the Amityville horror 3 decades earlier.Whether it was real,imagined or fake the movie was very enjoyable from start to finish.The movie was set in the late 80's and this was portrayed well.It started out with a brief history of the house and then got started at a nice pace introducing the characters.

A family takes possession of a home only to find that something else has already done so.The house is a too-good-to-be-true rental property just a stone's throw from the hospital where young Matt Campbell is being treated for cancer.The movie sets up the possibility that everything is just in Matt's head because his experimental cancer drugs list "creepy hallucinations" as potential side effects.Things get interesting when Matt,his cousin and a reverend uncover the house's evil history.

Virginia Madsen gave a solid performance playing "the mother",and Kyle Gallner as "Matt" was equally as good! The actors playing the siblings & the cousin were good & believable.But my least favorite was Martin Donovon playing "the father".He just had no personality.What really made me angry was how he acted at the end of the movie.He didn't seem to care that his son miraculously survived a terrifying ordeal,he just stood there like it was nothing not even hugging him or acting like he gave a sh*t! I don't know if this is the fault of the director or the actor for being so cold and pathetic.It just seemed everyone else was so close knit.The Reverend Popescu character was more like a father to Matt and genuinely cared what was happening to him & the family. But for all I know maybe in real life the 2 of them had a bad relationship.This is the only reason I gave the movie a 9 instead of a 10.Otherwise it was an excellent movie!
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8/10
It haunts you for days,Isn't it What it mean to be!!!
simplyfsl29 June 2009
I am a horror junkie for years now,I have seen em' all.From ultra gore flicks like Cannibal holocaust,Giallos,Splatters,Slashers,Takashi Miikes,everything but I personally think that most scary and long lasting in horror Genre is always the Haunted stories,something unseen always gives more lasting shivers than Decapitations/dismemberments. Last few years have been rough for haunted movies with nothing really up to mark being released, I walked into the theater playing this movie with same expectations that it would be another rip off from Japanese ghost camera angles/ideas and stuff but my my,the movie really scares.

Though many people on IMDb have argued to lack of originality of this movie but i don't agree.The movie is well interpreted,doesn't slow down and in between scares keeps interest as well as tingling those sensitive nerves.In terms of acting,I have been a fan of Virginia Madsen since SIDEWAYS and this time she delivers again.Kyle Gallner doesn't have much to do..

I wont go into the story as it isn't the high point of the movie and every 3rd haunted story has same stuff but the way its presented,really matters.I definitely recommend to horror fans to go see this movie,it won't waste your ticket,and if you follow it up with DISCOVERY DOCUMENTARY on the story,this movie won't let you sit alone in your study and go to the attic at night..Great Experience..
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10/10
A truly classic horror film with GREAT scares!
pistol8627 March 2009
People were jumping out of their seats. OK, I admit it, me too.

In addition, the acting was AMAZING. It really draws you in.

There were no false moments in this film. I got the feeling this is how a real family would be in this situation.

I think my favorite thing is there are 100% original moments we've NEVER seen before, and that's rare. The whole mythology of it was really compelling.

I saw some bad reviews and have to say: what are you talking about??!! They criticize it because we've seen a priest in a Haunted House film before? Isn't that like criticizing a crime drama for having cops?

It's like all the people who trashed "The Ring". I just don't get it.

Here's the real lowdown: This is a great film. I plan on multiple viewings!
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1/10
Another "walk-out" for me.
merrywood27 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's distressing to see the unmitigated junk that obtains national release these days. This poorly written, ill-conceived trash leans of fast cuts and loud noises for its "thrills" well this is not only cheap but clearly amateurish effort at a horror film. Why? Because it takes no intelligence at all to fast-cut scenes and match them with loud noises. Anyone can do it.

This comment is not meant o reflect the entire film because I walked out after 40 minutes of insulting, corny nonsense. Obviously I did not suspect that it would suddenly become a professionally made film in the last half. It's reminiscent of other films that use the gimmick of loud noises and fast, jarring cuts. Fortunately for me those came via loans from friends and a borrowed DVD costs nothing.

Decades ago films like CAT PEOPLE (1942) made on threadbare budgets taught us how true horror can be created using the imagination. Apparently the people who made this thing have not studied successful horror films.

For those interested in the so-called "true" story there's a documentary around on this event that at least makes sense, not that it is any more convincing than this overblown, pathetic waste of time and money.
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4/10
The real story is more frightening than this adaptation.
cricketbat15 August 2018
The Haunting in Connecticut is mostly a family drama with a bunch of annoying jump-out moments and disturbing images scattered around. If you want scary, watch the A Haunting episode on the Discovery channel about this same story. The real story is more frightening than this adaptation.
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6/10
"Based on a true story". Yeah, right!!
Stevieboy66615 March 2018
With their teenage son undergoing cancer treatment the Campbell family move into a creepy Victorian mansion nearer to the hospital in order to cut down on the travelling. Soon creepy things start to happen. In fact lots of spooky things happen, too much & too soon in the movie. Sadly this means any scare factor soon loses it's power & it becomes somewhat cliché & predictable. Acting & special effects are reasonable. One of the highlights is the revelation of many corpses inside the house. There is much variation in reviews for this film on here, but to rate it 1/10 is as ludicrous as awarding it 10/10. As haunted house movies go it is reasonably good but certainly not a classic.
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5/10
As if slowly dying from cancer isn't bad enough yet
Coventry14 October 2015
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.
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1/10
comedy in connecticut
jwilkerson9995 April 2009
Open your wallet. Take out a ten dollar bill. Rip it in half. This is how I felt after watching this movie. Take my advice. DO NOT SEE IT!!!

Going in to this movie, I had decided that it was going to be cheap and predictable, but fun anyways. I am not the cynical movie critic who blasts movies on their typical themes or plot lines, but this one left me stunned. I cannot believe that the casting, screenplay, and special effects on any Hollywood movie could be so terribly amiss.

Casting. In truth, this entire movie was impossible to believe because the acting was so pathetic. The mother seemed completely out of her league, rattling off transparent lines that were shallow but were made to be serious. The possessed boy had the same constipated look on his face the entire time, but his acting was not entirely to blame. Do not even get me started on the reverend. He was absolutely ridiculous. During every single one of his lines, I started laughing.

Plot. The ghost boy, Jonah, is a medium for seances conducted by an evil man who tries to augment his power by making him throw up a liquidy substance that is said to be the power of the dead. This death vomit is intended to be frightening. So he haunts the house, along with other dead people, for a reason that is to say the least, ambiguous and abstruse. A shaky, hurried plot is matched with horrid special effects to create the ultimate farce. If you find a burn victim flashing on the screen thirty times behind a character terrifying, then this is the movie for you.

Please do not waste your money. I go to the movies a lot, and I have learned to appreciate movies with little substance that still offer entertainment. This movie was not even able to attain that stature. Save your money, go rent something better.
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Ghosts should finally learn to speak English, or at least Chinese.
fedor816 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This communication block between the dead and the living is proving to be a huge headache for all involved. It seems that every haunted-house movie has at its core the problem that ghosts can't be bothered to just say what the bloody hell it is they actually want. Either they forgot all their English, or they become deaf-mute in the after-life. Well, then wave your hands or send messenger-pigeons or something! Do SOMETHING, frcrissakes. Do something before they make more of these dumb horror flicks!

Wasn't it Eddie Murphy who once said "if there's a ghost in the house, then GET THE F**K OUT!"

"No subsequent occupants have complained of any disturbing manifestations", it says in the epilogue. Well, sure they haven't, they weren't liars like the Campbells.

If this is based on true events then even Dickie Attenborough can claim to have made "Gandhi" with actual facts in mind. Even "The China Syndrome" isn't a fantasy tale anymore. Perhaps even "Eraserhead" and "War of the Worlds" are based on true events, and maybe "Bambi" is a Discovery Channel documentary about deer.

Virgina Madsen, even after everything she had experienced in the house with the ghosts, even after having admitted to herself that supernatural beings were at work, shouts at her son "what have you done with yourself?!" after she sees him covered in strange writing, from head to toe. Duh.

AHIC is seen-it-all-before haunted-house crap, with little to nothing of particular interest in the first half. Except of course the beautiful Amanda Screw. I mean Crew.

Check out Elias Koteas trying to warn the family (by phone, of course), and yet in spite of SIX family members living under that roof, there is no-one to hear his warning. What a convenient plot-device. Seconds later, Amanda Screw (sorry, I dood it again) gets attacked by the shower curtains (no bare breasts, give up all hope, ye), and she actually doesn't leave the house. What was it Eddie Murphy had said? Exactly. And how convenient that Donovan gets drunk and starts breaking up all the lights in the house.

Still, AHIC does have something going for it that 99 percent of all horror flicks don't have and that's Amanda Screw. I meant Crew. Amanda Crew. Unfortunately for her and for us, she isn't part of so-called "Hollywood royalty" (i.e. a talentless, ugly nepotist that needs special care, help, protection, promotion and a career-push from the studio heads, producers, and directors) so we won't be seeing her career sky-rocket any time soon. That is strictly reserved for the likes of Blake Lively, Mamie Gumner (daughter of Streep) and John Travolta's little daughter. And of course Will Smith's brat.
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1/10
Total Crap
screett4 April 2009
This was the typical Hollywood horror movie. The methods are cheesy. The characters are dull and the actors are terrible. The title should have been "A Boring Haunting in Connecticut." Try as you may to stay focused on the movie. It was so boring that I found myself falling asleep. It was very disappointing especially since it strayed so far from the real story. It was not scary at all unless you're a teenage girl. Look up the truth behind the real story. Don't believe that this crap was true. I'm glad I didn't pay to see it. Now I remember why I hate Hollywood. The popcorn was good though, so the night wasn't all bad.

See the Discovery Channel special. It's better and more believable.
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1/10
If you go thinking this is based on a true story, you will be disappointed
ghchamp9631 March 2009
I was looking forward to seeing this movie for weeks. Every time I would see a commercial for it, I would point at the TV and tell my husband I wanted to see it. I had watched the Discovery Channel program about the haunting, and I loved it. I came out of the movie theater VERY disappointed. The biggest flaw in this movie is that a logical reason is given for about 90% of the paranormal activity that occurred. The family's son has cancer, and he is on an experimental treatment. The experimental treatment causes visual and auditory hallucinations, and the son is the only one that sees the paranormal activity. So, when they son starts seeing things, he thinks it is a side effect of the medication and doesn't tell his mother. The writers attempt to explain why the son is the only person that sees the ghosts in the house later, but it just seems like a cover up to try and make the story believable. The other part of the story I found disappointing I actually discovered AFTER I had seen the movie. I started researching online and discovered that this movie is loosely, and I mean VERY loosely, based on a true story. There's a very interesting interview with the author of the book that the movie is based on at this website: http://www.horrorbound.com/readarticle.php?article_id=61. Anyone planning to go see this movie thinking that they are seeing a true story should really read this interview first.
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