Peter Cornwell’s “The Haunting in Connecticut” is a chilling, bone-tingling horror movie that rattles to the core.
The film claims to be based on true events of paranormal activity felt by the Snedeker family in the ’80s after moving into a mysterious house in Southington, Conn.
The movie centers around Matt Campbell who is receiving radiation treatment for cancer in a small hospital near there home. After seeing the effects that the long commute had on Matt, his mother Sara (Virginia Madsen, “Sideways,” 2004) decides to buy a house closer to the hospital.
Without the consent of the rest of the family, Sara rents a nearby house. When the rest of the family arrives, they learn that the house not only used to be a funeral home, but the host to multiple séances.
Not long after moving in, Matt starts to see visions of the séances that were held in the home including a young boy named Jonah, who was a medium, and Doctor Aickman, the man who used Jonah to channel the spirits during the séances.
Matt’s visions turn violent and he starts to inflict pain upon himself, like scratching the wall till his fingers bleed, or waking up with carvings in his skin.
After these events the family enlists the help of priest to exercise the house but things don’t goes as everyone has planned.
The plot is a little hard to believe – obviously, it can’t all be true, but the story feels extremely over-exaggerated for the purposes of the film.
As far as the storyline goes, as a horror film it succeeds in really shaking the audience to the core by showing the graphic images of all that had happened in that house such as the séances and the disgusting things that Aickman did to these dead bodies.
Even though most of the actors in the movie are newcomers, they all do a very great job, specifically Kyle Gallner who plays Matt. It almost seems like he is truly possessed by evil spirits.
Another well-executed part of the movie is the special effects. For example, Matt has a vision of an extreme séance, where an ectoplasmic liquid spews out of Jonah’s mouth. The entire scene is disturbing, and what happens next is visually impressive.
One part that could be improved upon is the soundtrack. For a horror film, the music isn’t very intense – most of the time there is either no music at all or some boring piano music, which doesn’t add anything to the film.
Even though this is Cornwell’s first film, it’s very apparent that he has some experience as he brings back true horror to the movie industry.
Over all this was a decent film, but since it is based on a true story it should leave the audience with a sense of fear or even sadness for the events that plagued the family but after I left the theater I did not find myself with any of those feelings.
Even though in the moment it’s quite scary, the movie doesn’t give the viewer something to take with them.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.