Starring: Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Amanda Crew, Martin Donovan, Sophi Knight, Ty Wood, Erik J. Berg, John Bluethner, D.W. Brown, and John B. Lowe.
Directed by: Peter Cornwell.
I find it very amusing how newcomer directors are so gullible that they allow themselves to fall into the trap of making the same old horror movie with the same old scare cliches without making one single effort to set themselves apart from the rest of the godawful sheep. That happens to be the case with director Peter Cornwell with his latest effort The Haunting in Connecticut. Mind you, the last thing he did before this movie was Post Apocalyptic Pizza (a TV series), wow, a very bright choice for a film that is supposedly based on a true account of events. My guess is that Hollywood knew the script was garbage but saw a way to cash in on it anyway so they attached the dumbest person available to do the dirty work. The one positive thing about this movie were the performances done by mother and son characters – Virginia Madsen and Kyle Gallner.
The story takes place in 1987 where Matthew William Campbell, a cancer patient who is on trial therapy at a hospital, stays with his mom who decides to rent a house for the both of them to give him a little break from the treatment. We soon learn that this place used to be a funeral home. Ah ha! There’s a rule of thumb, when renting a house, never stay there if you found out something terrible happened before. Cliche, cliche, cliche. There’s a mortuary room in the basement which is always locked at first. Long story short, they begin experiencing supernatural occurrences which are first blamed on Matt (they think he’s suffering from hallucinations due to his cancer treatment and medications).
The actual story behind the house’s history isn’t that much exciting nor scary to begin with, it all revolves around the previous owner in the 1920s named Doctor Aickman who used to hold seances in the house along with his assistant ‘medium’ Jonah. Aickman’s experiments mostly centered around stealing corpses to perform necromancy in an attempt to advance Jonah’s medium abilities.
The Haunting in Connecticut makes severe use of many horror film cliches and the same old boring ‘boo and jump’ scare tactics that we’ve seen a million times before. Oh yes and then there’s the ‘boo’ music, you know, when something scary is about to happen, the music ‘rises’ until it reaches the boiling point/scare moment. You know the deal with that, it’s in almost every horror movie that comes out nowadays. Any horror movie that makes use of that stupid and tired trend automatically gets a bad apple in my book, sorry to say. It’s been abused to the point that it’s become a gimmick that is just as torturous as the auto-tune craze in today’s music, and that’s all “The Haunting in Connecticut” is – another cheap gimmick in horror filmmaking. Plus this is supposedly getting a sequel called Haunting in New York as well as a planned trilogy? Sweet Jesus, I think Hollywood really needs mental help.