Directed by Peter Cornwell [Other horror films: Mercy (2014)]
When I first saw The Haunting in Connecticut, I got the sense I enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was great or anything, but I remember having a pretty okay time with it, and that surprised me, as I usually don’t enjoy Hollywood ghost movies. Well, now I wish I could go back to those more innocent times, as I really didn’t care for this at all the second time around.
First off, and if you know me, this may not come as a surprise, I have to mention how this movie claims to be “based on a true story.” It’s not. Throughout the whole history of the entire world, not a single ghost or supernatural event has ever been scientifically proven. To our current understanding, there are no ghosts, no demons, no supernatural occurrences (for if they occurred in nature, they’d be natural occurrences), and no God or gods.
Even more so, this particular story seems to have been entirely debunked. So for trying to pass this off as a true story to increase fear, this movie automatically lost three points. It pisses me off when movies do this (found footage are the worst offenders, as you can imagine), and this was no different.
Prove the existence of ghosts first, and then you can say these stories are based on true events. Until then, shove it.
What this movie has going for it is really quick flashes of Hollywood scares and a disjointed origin story that’s told in music-video style flashes. I think the origin is sort of interesting, at least as far as the necromancy aspect goes, but if that’s all a movie has going for it, and it’s not even told in a particularly enjoyable way, that may not mean much.
To be sure, Kyle Gallner (of the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street) did decently, and Virginia Madsen (Candyman) worked well with him to make plenty of emotional scenes. Elias Koteas was okay, though his character was too religious to much care for. Amanda Crew (Final Destination 3) never really got that much time to make any impact, but her one research scene was fine, and she was cute, so whateves.
Of course, the estimated budget of this movie is $10 million dollars, so the fact that some of the performances are decent shouldn’t come as a surprise, and more to the point, it doesn’t really elevate the movie much.
I liked aspects of the origin story, but aside from this, this felt like complete Hollywood clichéd drivel. I’m not sure where I derived my enjoyment from the first time I saw this, but after watching it with fresh eyes, it’s just a waste with very little going for it. I imagine some people out there would enjoy this one, but it’s just not my idea of a good time.