Haunted Movie Review:
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

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Peter Cornwell


Adam Simon, Tim Metcalfe


Virginia Madsen … Sara Campbell
Kyle Gallner … Matt Campbell
Elias Koteas … Reverend Popescu
Amanda Crew … Wendy
Martin Donovan … Peter Campbell

Plot Summary

Supposedly inspired by the true-life tale of a family that moved into a converted funeral home and subsequently fell under supernatural attack, director Peter Cornwell’s The Haunting in Connecticut tells the story of a desperate mother’s attempt to free her family from the grip of an evil beyond human comprehension. Parents Sara (Virginia Madsen) and Peter Campbell (Martin Donovan) have just moved to Connecticut with their young son, Matt, when the young boy experiences a series of disturbing events that lead him to believe a malevolent force has set its sights on taking control of his family. Years ago, when the home was still a funeral parlor, the original owner’s clairvoyant assistant, Jonah, served as a human gateway for restless spirits seeking to cross over into the physical realm. When Jonah returns to unleash a new kind of horror on the innocent family, Sara enlists the aid of enigmatic priest Popescu (Elias Koteas) in driving the evil out before it consumes her son. At first it appears that Popescu has been successful, but the terror returns, and it’s more intense than ever before.

Thoughts from the team

Many of the effects in this film were topnotch. There is an awful lot of floating ectoplasm, which is neat from a creep-me-out perspective. Ectoplasm has never been proved to have existed and it seems eerie to say the least. It is best described as floating, embodied spirits oozing out from a medium’s mouth, ear and eyes and what have you. It looks good too in phony Victorian photographs or in orgy like seances with mediums, which this film is chock full of in that regards. The film hit a high note in creepiness when it was revealed bodies were stacked in the walls of the house. Bodies that were sort of mummified, tattooed and missing their eyelids!

The priest dying of cancer, who befriended the boy and helped him in the end, was a flawless tie-in to that added religious patina of realism. After all, ever since the Exorcist, you need a priest to deal with demons and ghosts right? This priest was a well thought out character too. He was dying and thus formed a logical connection with the boy. He didn’t seem altogether convinced that where he was going was filled with clouds and harps either.

Yes, there is the typical plot twist that the scary ghost, Jonah, was really a good one. Did I say that? Yes, there are people standing in mirrors that shouldn’t be there. There are all sorts of distorted weird reflections and things that go bump in the night, but isn’t that why we pay the money to see a haunted house film to begin with?

All in all, I thought the film was an above average to very good haunted house yarn. In terms of acting, cinematography, special effects, spine-tingling moments, musical score, The Haunting in Connecticut is as good a scare as I have seen in recent years. When the film was over, it got me thinking about my own house. Surely, nothing like a seance as presented in the film occurred at our humble Cape Cod-style? I would highly doubt that, but nonetheless, when The Haunting In Connecticut was over, I found myself tapping the walls on the way to bed!


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