The Haunting in Connecticut

2009-07-17 12:07
 
The Haunting in Connecticut

What it's about:


The financially burdened Campbell family relocate to Connecticut to be closer to the hospital where their ill son, Matt (a suitably sunken-eyed Kyle Gallner), is receiving cancer treatment. They find a big, old house with amazingly cheap rent but, predictably, there is a catch. During the 1800s it was a funeral home that also housed a powerful medium who mysteriously perished with a group of his clients. Soon odd noises and apparitions are popping up and frightening the already emotionally distressed family.


What we thought:

I would have huge difficulty finding a single compelling reason for anyone to watch this so-called horror as it commits cinema’s worst sin – it’s boring. Forget the corny dialogue, tacky effects, amateurish stabs at suspense, and the fact that it rips off The Amityville Horror on a fraction of the budget (which is used poorly), it simply grips like a feeble handed pensioner from start to clichéd finish.

Virginia Madsen trots out an adequate performance as Sara, the mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown, trying to cope with a dying son, alcoholic husband, and medical bills piling up to the roof of her freaky haunted house. She screams, she cries, and goes through the motions, but it’s a wasted effort with this material. A movie of this kind needs to be pacey or creepy enough to keep the audience from recognising the vast number of superior films it is copying. The Haunting in Connecticut doesn't do this, and instead leaves massive gaps between the "scares", lulling the viewer into a state of annoyed tedium.

As the teenager on the verge of death, Matt (Kyle Gallner) looks like a sick boy from a 1930s German Expressionist film, with huge dark rings under his eyes and a constant exaggerated look of horror on his face. He is such a miserable and pathetic character that I found myself wishing he would just drop dead so that the grating teen angst would cease and the film could get back to its rambling tale of patently untrue, yet numbingly familiar events.

The final disappointment comes once God is brought in as the plot device to wrap up all the loose ends and to impress people who also believe in ghosts. I won’t spoil anything for you, but if you like films with Disney-style endings, you might leave the cinema with a big stupid smile on your face. Anyone in the mood for a haunted house movie should just pick any other one at random and there is a 90 percent chance it will be more exciting and scary than The Haunting in Connecticut.


Replace the word "true" with boring and "story" with garbage, and you'll have an accurate idea of this generic horror supposedly based on real events.

Noodlez 2009/07/20 9:30 AM
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Are you kidding me, did you watch the same movie?? It is the first SUSPENCE triller in a while which I enjoyed, it was never supposed to be a Horror, get your facts straight. I take it you gave Harry Potter a 11/10 for originality, enough said.
Alex 2009/07/20 9:38 AM
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IVAN YOU ARE MAD!! This has been one of the best horrors/thrillers to come out in a while now. What may i ask was boring? I think that harry potter was freakin boring, worst harry potter i have seen! There WAS nothing boring about this movie. I think News24 should get a crit that actually watches the movies!!!
Alex 2009/07/20 9:40 AM
BTW why was it on the American top 10 charts for a couple of weeks? DID YOU REALLY WATCH THIS MOVIE???
CTheB 2009/07/20 10:44 AM
The author clearly made a mistake by daring to have an opinion! Alex - given that the average American prefers dumb movies to ones with sophisticated plots, etc., why would you be surprised that it was on their top 10 chart for a couple of weeks (wow, a whole couple of weeks, that's, like, a lifetime!)? This is the same country for which the intro to Trainspotting had to be dubbed into "American" because moviegoers couldn't understand english. @Noodlez - the movie is billed as a horror, so I don't think there's anything wrong with saying it's meant to be a horror film. I haven't seen the movie, but the trailer was generic and uninspiring enough to make me not want to bother seeing the movie (no, I don't care if you believe I'm not entitled to have my own opinion about things).
Frank 2009/07/20 12:20 PM
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes rated the film as "rotten", with a 18% positive rating based on 93 reviews.[5] Metacritic found the film had received "mainly negative reviews," scoring 31 out of 100 based on 20 reviews.[6] While the film was mainly criticized for its use of horror cliches and "jump" scare tactics[7]. Other aspects of the film were praised by many critics, in particular the acting, primarily the performances of Gallner and Madsen[8].
Harry 2009/07/20 1:27 PM
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Can't be worse than happy pothead - er - harry potter, what crap!!!
ross 2009/07/20 2:14 PM
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Watched it yesterday , Wasn't bad at all , had me jumping a few times.
Ivan 2009/07/21 7:34 AM
Oh come on, this movie was just a lame pastiche of cliches. The people who are defending it either never watch any horror films, or scream like little girls when they're caught unawares by their own shadow. I would recommend Drag me to hell if you want to see a decent horror film.
YTAH 2009/07/22 11:24 AM
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Recent Top 10 US movies: Twilight. Transformers 2. Terminator: Salvation. X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Success != Quality. Also, movies that feature GHOSTS and a HAUNTED HOUSE are generally considered horror movies, not suspense thrillers. Besides, this movie had neither suspense, nor thrills. Slick, like a snot stain. Give it a miss.
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