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"The Haunting in Connecticut"

March 29, 2009 - Ken Womack
The Haunting in Connecticut *


The Haunting in Connecticut is just awful. I am awarding a single star for the simple fact that the filmmakers were able to activate their cameras and preserve photographic images on celluloid. Beyond that, director Peter Cornwell and his crew have accomplished absolutely nothing. A big, preposterous pile of nothing.


The screenplay is very loosely based on the notorious case of the Snedeker family, who moved to Southington, Connecticut, in the 1970s, only to find that their stately home was overrun by ghosts. In The Haunting in Connecticut, the Snedekers’ tragic tale is rather grossly augmented by a narrative involving a wicked mortician who steals corpses and engages in ghastly bouts of necromancy.


The Haunting in Connecticut stars Virginia Madsen as Sara Campbell, a woman who must contend with the daily heartbreak of watching her son Matt (Kyle Gallner) slowly but surely succumb to cancer. In itself, the narrative of Sara’s life with her ailing son would have been far more interesting and valuable than the one that we receive in The Haunting in Connecticut.


Tired of torturing her son with the exhausting drive to and from the hospital where he receives radiology, Sara decides to rent a home closer to Matt’s caregivers. It’s a fateful decision that brings her entire family into the orbit of the world’s worst—or at the very least, Connecticut’s worst—haunted house.


Ensconced in their new home, the Campbells find themselves at the mercy of a series of ghostly sounds and images. For the most part, the movie’s thrills and chills involve things that go bump in the night, and the Campbell family is surprisingly slow to recognize that they are living in Ghost Central. As the family’s plight seems to worsen, we are treated to a selection of flashbacks concerning some sort of deathly séance. Perhaps even more strangely, Matt’s condition seems to deteriorate in concert with the increase in the house’s ghostly permutations.


All in all, The Haunting in Connecticut is a muddled, incoherent mess. Worse yet, the film is patently boring. For all of the movie’s fuss, very little happens. The maddening pace is slowed, moreover, by a pair of nonsensical subplots involving Sara’s troubled marriage with her disenchanted husband Peter (Martin Donovan) and the late emergence of a local minister, Reverend Popescu (Elias Koteas), who threatens to bring the screenplay, almost singlehandedly, to a grinding halt.


My advice? Avoid The Haunting in Connecticut at any cost. It will leave you snoring in the aisles.


Article Comments



Aug-08-2011 4:10 PM

I saw this movie as well. I have to agree, it was a waste of time.


Apr-21-2009 12:53 PM

I saw this movie this past weekend - I would have to give it at least a 2 star trating vs your 1 star. There were a couple spots where I jumped from suspense. As far as it being based on a true story........pleeeeeease!


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