Friday, March 27, 2009

The Haunting in Connecticut

Genre - Horror
Year Released - 2009
Running Time - 102 minutes
Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of terror and disturbing images
Directed by Peter Cornwell
Written by Adam Simon (The American Nightmare & Brain Dead) and Tim Metcalfe (Fright Night II, Kalifornia, Bones, and Revenge of the Nerds)
Cast Includes:
Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Highlander II, Dune, and The Number 23)
Martin Donovan (The Visitation, Saved, and the Master of Horror episode Right to Die)
Kyle Gallner (Flash from Smallville, Jack Ketchum's Red, and the upcoming Jennifer's Body)
Amanda Crew (Final Destination 3 and Sex Drive)
Elias Koteas (Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I & III, The Prophecy, Fallen, and Zodiac)

Rating: 4 Skulls


Plot Summary:
In this supernatural thriller, the Campbell family's move to Connecticut takes a mysteriously dark turn when a series of shocking paranormal events reveals that their inviting new home is a former mortuary with a sordid past.

Based on a True Story. . .

Review:
This film takes place in the summer of 1987 when a mother of a teenage son with cancer decides to purchase a home which is closer to the hospital that is treating him. She was able to find a home that was spacious and affordable - the catch was that it used to be a mortuary, a long time ago, with an evil history behind it. Being that the home was what her family needed, at the time, the mother made an executive decision and purchased it - waiting for her husband, younger son, and her two nieces to join them.

Being that it is just her and her teenage son, for the time being, she allows him to have first pick of whichever bedroom he chooses - he is drawn down into the basement, where there is a mysterious locked door. Being a teenage boy, he of course chooses the basement as his room.

When he starts seeing things [such as his mother using blood to mop the floor] and having strange visions [one of which includes an eyelid removal scene] he doesn't want to tell his mother, as he is on a special medical trial for his cancer, and he doesn't want to be taken off of it.


Without giving too much away, the story deals with the dark magic of necromancy - which is creepy stuff, in and of itself!

Don't let the film's rating [PG-13] fool you - it is still very dark and disturbing!


If you are in your mid-thirties, such as I am, then you more than likely remember this old poem:

"One bright day in the middle of the night
Two dead boys stood up to fight
Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot one another.
A deaf policeman heard the noise
And came to kill the two dead boys...
If you don't believe this lie is true
Ask the blind man, he saw it too"

Remember that one?!?
[the reason I bring it up, is because it is in this film, and it just brought back memories]
It actually fit in very well with the story that was taking place.

Here's the trailer:


Virginia Madsen plays the mother, and she did an outstanding job portraying such a caring mother and the emotions that would tear through her, over her sick son.

Elias Koteas played a cancer-ridden Reverend, that the son met during his treatment - he did an excellent job as well - as did Kyle Gallner [the son] Everyone was very believable in their roles, which brought a creepy reality to the story.

Actually, the story of the actual events which took place is featured in Ray Garton's [my favorite living horror author] book In A Dark Place - I wish I could say that I have this book [it currently runs about $270.00 - for a used paperback copy! :-( It is on my lists of books to eventually obtain though!

Anyway, the present owners of the home currently claim that it is no longer haunted [apparently it was "cleansed" in '88] Still, this film definitely did justice to the story. . .

Jason

8 comments:

The Igloo Keeper... said...

Saw the trailer for this recently and thought it looked interesting. Sounds like a nice old-school style horror film. I hope whoever is controlling my TV sends this down the airwaves soon.

Rev. Fred Phantom said...

Good to hear this is good. My Wife and I are going to see it tomorrow and I had a deep fear that it may suck hard. Now I'm looking forward to it.

thebonebreaker said...

IK,

If they do, be sure to check it out! :-)

J

thebonebreaker said...

Rev,

Wow, I have 'known' you for quite some time now, and I do not recall you ever watching a 'mainstream' film ;-)

You definitely need to stop back by and let me know your thoughts!

J

Stac said...

I'm curious to see this, but also disappointed with how they changed the story. If I remember right, there was no spooky boy from the past acting as a medium, but maybe they just didn't talk about that in the thing I saw.

If I remember right it was the mom, the dad worked back where they had originally lived and commuted in on weekends. There was a little sister and at least one younger brother, maybe more than one? No reverend at all (in fact, I think it was the Warrens who were called in), and there was an older niece who came to live with the family later on.

I want to see it anyway, though; I LOVE ghost stories and they don't get enough play in the theaters lately

thebonebreaker said...

Stac,

I think that you will definitely enjoy this one!

The boy from the past was a pretty crucial element to the story, so I would imagine that it had its roots based on the actual events.

You are correct about the father and the younger brother - the film also had the mother's two nieces [the film never explained why they lived with their aunt though]

Let me know your thoughts, after you have seen it!

J

Te* said...

Great review! Went to see this last night with a friend and it was surprisingly good, far exceeded my expectations!

thebonebreaker said...

Te,

Thanks man - glad to hear that you enjoyed the film as well! :-)

J