Monday, July 27, 2009

Where Are The Scares?

It’s time I take a look at a movie filled with horror movie clichés and cheap scare tactics in this years haunted house movie – The Haunting in Connecticut.
If you couldn’t guess by now, I really did not enjoy this movie. The film was filled with things that we’ve seen before, and we’ve seen them done better. The movie felt like it was three hours long, it just kept dragging on and on with nothing remotely interesting happening.
The film is set in 1987 and it centers itself on Matt Campbell, a teenage boy who is being treated for cancer with a new trial therapy. After seeing how sick her son becomes during their long commutes home, his mother rents a nearby house, which we learn that it was once a funeral home.
When they are cleaning the house, Matt decides to set up his room in the basement and in doing this they discover a mortuary room. After this the family starts to become victims to some common supernatural events (doors slamming and lights flickering).
Matt begins to experience several disturbing visions from the eyes of the houses past resident, Jonah, which include some séances, a doctor carving words on corpses and also the doctor cutting off the eyelids of the dead (messed up).
That’s all the plot I’ll give you, if you want to know what happens rent or buy the movie.
This movie suffers from several problems. First, the ‘haunting” seems like a sub plot that takes the back seat to the story of Matt’s cancer and his treatment. Second, there was no originality in the film it was the same old, same old and the scares were so far apart and too few in-between that you forgot you were watching a horror movie. I know a few people enjoyed the flashbacks that revealed the houses eerie past, but it really didn’t do much for me.
The story and the scares might have been bad, but the acting was great. Virginia Madsen, played the mother very well and even when the movie fell into clichés, she kept a straight face and kept herself grounded. Kyle Gallner, the kid who played Matt really did a good job; he was believable even in the movie’s more silly and unusual moments. The last person I’m going to mention is Elias Koteas (Casey Jones from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie) he played the reverend and had some of the best lines in the movie.
In the end the movie doesn’t offer us anything new and it fails on certain levels. The film seemed very unbalanced in areas and the pacing was not done well at all. I saw things in the movie that could have been interesting if they were flushed out, but the script seemed a little rushed and I don’t feel that we really got a solid haunted house movie experience. The 2005 remake of the Amityville Horror was better then this film and that’s saying something.
I did purchase the movie, because my name does appear in the credits of the fear is real documentary on the two discs set version. The Fear is Real is a documentary that covers the haunting and it’s much better then the movie itself.


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