The Haunting in Connecticut

Classic horror movies have a formula. Someone in the past commits an unspeakable horror, which is documented in the newspapers of the day, but is otherwise forgotten. The house, that witnessed said horrors lies vacant till unsuspecting family moves in. Moving in family also has its own demons to contend with. Upon the expected manifestation of latent evil, unsuspecting family first suspects itself before realizing the true culprit. Good Samaritan shows up from unexpected quarters to rid the house of evil, while also putting the demons of the family to rest.

The Haunting in Connecticut, follows this to a T. Every plot element makes its appearance on cue. But what ultimately carries it through is a subtle mix of decent acting with well edited horror sequences.

The movie chronicles the, supposedly true, travails of the Campbell family, who's son Matt is suffering from cancer. After moving to Connecticut to be closer to the hospital treating Matt, the family is slowly sucked into the past of the house. Matt, being the closest to death, is the only one that can see feel the presence in the house before all hell breaks loose. The idea that being alive is a continuum that dictates the degree of correspondence one can have with the fully dead is the most original idea of the movie.

Despite it all, I am not tempted to give the movie anything less than a three, because of the really good execution of the various elements. Matt (Kyle Gallner) looks convincingly haggard as a cancer patient, while Virginia Madsen (as Sara Campbell) helps pull together the role of the unsuspecting mother. There are three other children and a Dad, that mostly remained undeveloped character stubs.

Having decided to watch the movie as a warm-up to the main feature of the evening, Let Me In, I was not disappointed at all. Looking back, I realized I should have known the entire movie before it started, but it was more than fun while it lasted.

October 04, 2010

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