Review: The Haunting in Connecticut


Director:Peter Cornwell

Cast:Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Amanda Crew

Running Time:92.00


With her son dying of cancer, Sara Campbell makes an executive decision to rent out a home near his doctor in Connecticut. The move, made on an impulse, proves to be her demise as her son, Matt, as he quickly falls victim to the home's haunting past.

Starring Oscar-nominee Virginia Madsen and up and coming star Kyle Gallner, the PG-13 rated horror film comes across as a hard R early on. The blood dripping from the counter top and the ghostly images of unsettled spirits comprise much of the opening title sequence. That, in addition to the clever and unexpected opening that makes the 'Based on a True Story' claim all the more important, catapults expectations as viewers anxiously await the first incarcerated victim. Sadly, the film fails to enthrall or even entertain, becoming a typical, cheap thrills ghost flick by credits end.

But with that said, I will admit that the film did come with its moments, most of which are a result to the brilliant soundtrack used throughout the film's entirety. As the music heightened, so did the intensity, foretelling a critical jump sequence that would undoubtfully show itself shortly after. The scares were cheap and expected; that goes without question; but in much the same form as The Ring and The Grudge, The Haunting of Connecticut made it work surprisingly well.

Additionally, the combined work from Madsen and Gallner was much better than I would have ever expected. The raw emotion put out by Madsen was nothing short of impressive as it helped to sell their troubled and unfamiliar situation. And as for Gallner, his ability to create sympathy and uncertainty within the heart and minds of viewers put a creative twist on the film and its underlining story.

Yet, nothing could overcome the typical plot line that mustered its way through the cracks a little more than halfway through. The premise, though intriguing, lacked depth as the characters worked through their dilemmas with little to no explanation. The special effects were dry and boring, the unveiling of the house's history a bit too quick and the ultimate resolution was both unrealistic and predictable.

As a result, The Haunting in Connecticut is a decent at best thriller. The scares were cheap, the action sequences predictable, and most of all, the final scene was as generic as they come. True story or not, this horrific account needed some dramatics to live up to its trailer and truly entertain.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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