Haunting in Connecticut
Supposedly based on a true story? I guess that is true if one considers the word true in a completely relative sense. This specific haunting was supposed to have taken place in 1986 through 1987, in Southington, Connecticut, to a family named Snedeker, but any real semblance to any actual haunting endured by that family is muted by the fact that the script by Adam Simon and Tim Metcalf was taken from a story "In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting" by Ray Garton; that is an alleged account of some events incoherently reported, that may have occurred, and others that were the stepchildren of horror novelist Garton being told to, "just make it up and make it scary" by the proponents of this capitalist enterprise.
The haunting takes place in a home that was once a mortuary, whose malevolent mortician's purposeful degradation of dead human bodies; supposedly to seal their spirits to his will from beyond the paranormal dimension between the spirit's life and their eternal hereafter. The necromancy of the mad mortician was intended to bind these spirits to his seances performed by his gifted young assistant, Jonah, played by Eric Berg, who acted as a medium between the two dimensions. One can surmise that from this point, with angry spirits afoot, the story turns violent and somewhat surreal.
This is where Director Peter Cornwell's picture starts to lose me, with the flashbacks to the home as a mortuary and then back to real time as just a severely haunted home, where a family stays and stays and just will not leave. Talk about evil, angry spirits that will not leave, why does not the family leave? Is it morbid curiosity or just plain stupidity?
"Haunting in Connecticut" is a decent ghost story, with the many truly horrific scenes; however for me, it is difficult to keep the realty in perspective when one has the advance knowledge that the picture's theme, supposedly based on the true story component, is bogus.
Whether it's the flimsy story, or the incompetent acting, excepting Virginia Madsen as the haunted mother, Kyle Gallner as the haunted son, and character actor Elias Koteas as Reverend Popescu, who is sought to help he family by exorcism, I could not give the movie any more than 2 1/4 stars.
Rated PG13. Released on DVD July 14, 2009.