The Haunting in Connecticut (15)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Fri Mar 27 2009From the Amityville school of dubious real-life paranormal mumbo-jumbo comes this dour, self-serious but surprisingly effective little haunted house shocker. When teenage cancer victim Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) moves with his family into the requisite old house with ‘a bad history’, he’s soon beset by ghoulish hallucinations: blood, burned kids, and gangs of grumpy ghosts festooned with mysterious runic calligraphy. Mum Sarah (Virginia Madsen) thinks it’s just a side effect of the medication, while recovering alcoholic dad Peter (Martin Donovan) is too busy staying off the wagon to pay any attention. But as Matt digs deeper into the mystery, he becomes convinced their new home is plagued by the restless, abused spirits of the damned.
There’s nothing remotely original in ‘The Haunting in Connecticut’, but director Cornwell holds things together admirably, wasting no time on his all-too-familiar setup, preferring to bludgeon his audience into submission with a parade of obvious but well-judged ‘gotcha’ moments and chucking in a decent scare at least every 5-10 minutes. If things become a mite operatic in the home stretch – with suitably haggard man-of-God Elias Koteas popping up to ‘cleanse’ the place of its ancient evil – there’s certainly enough here to satisfy the post-pub crowd in search of a few cheap, grab-the-armrest thrills.
Author: Tom Huddleston