Saturday, July 3, 2021

Movie Reviews: The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting In Connecticut
directed by Peter Cornwell

This is another older film that claims to be based in part on some of the experiences of Ed and Lorraine Warren or stories that they heard. And that is about the only similarity it has to the much better, scarier, and more convincing The Conjuring. Imagine every single horror movie cliche that you've ever seen crammed into one film. Now imagine a plot that makes no sense. And just for good measure throw in a few performances by actors/actresses who seem to believe that they were in a different movie from the rest of the cast. 
Well you probably won't have much left. The problem with haunted house movies is that the plot needs to come up with some reason as to why the people impacted by the presence at a specific location just don't leave. Maybe there are serious financial considerations. 
Maybe the people in charge, usually the parents, don't believe in the supernatural. 
Maybe the people in charge have been infected by the supernatural and aren't willing to leave or let anyone else do so. Maybe someone has cut off contact with the outside world and so no one can leave. Cue evil laughter.
Maybe the presence has bonded with someone in the family and leaving would set it loose upon the rest of the world. Maybe the secret to destroying the entity can only be found in the home. Whatever the case may be the question of why don't the people just leave must be raised and addressed adequately. 

I don't think that was the case in this film. The characters had a reason for being in the house, but there were far more compelling reasons for leaving once the stuff hit the fan.
Sara (Virginia Madsen) and Peter (Martin Donovan) Campbell are a married couple with some issues.
But right now their largest issue is that their teen son Matt (Kyle Gallner) has cancer. The Campbells are having their son treated at apparently the only hospital that they trust to give him a fighting chance. But they aren't rich people. They've had to cut other expenses and sell a lot of property to pay medical bills. Peter has had to work extra jobs. 
This has added to the marital tension. The family is at a point where as the saying goes, every penny counts. When Sara sees a home for rent that's much closer to the hospital, she decides to take it. The family will save some dollars on gasoline although they might pay more in rent. Sara is not THAT suspicious when the landlord offers the family the first month free if they sign a lease and move in right now. The guy really wants to get this place off his hands.
Hmm.
After the family, which includes Matt's brother and cousins, moves into the home, Matt starts having vivid visions and nightmares of corpses with strange inscriptions, a creepy little kid, and a weird old man. Matt starts behaving oddly. 
The family learns that the home is a former mortuary with an interesting  history. Matt shares some of his visions with a fellow cancer patient, Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas) who not only believes Matt but also happens to be an exorcist. Now that's convenient isn't it?  
This was a story that's been done better before by too many people to mention. There are only a few genuinely creepy moments. After the tenth or so jump scare you might find yourself thinking about fast forwarding through the remaining time. The stakes didn't feel very high. This was rated PG-13 and has generic special effects. Dull.
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