THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT // At first glance, “The Haunting In Connecticut” comes off much like your typical haunted horror film, complete with the based on a true story, the purchase of a creaky old house possessed by spirits who roam around at night, and a sick young man left to experience these otherworldly beings on his own. But director Peter Cornwell’s haunting story takes on a much more admirable demeanor in producing some truly memorable visuals and capitalizing off some brilliant turns of story. Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) is sick and on a trial chemotherapy through a hospital much too far away. So to compensate, his mother (Virginia Madsen) pushes for the family to move to a house closer to the hospital. Cue the “dun-dun-dun”.

In this house, with paint peeling off the walls, cupboards full of black-and-white photos of dead people, and a room in the basement that remains impossible to get into, the typical family struggles are amplified with the presence of the ghosts, attempting to tell/show Kyle their story. The story involves a grave-robbing embalmer and a young boy medium whose special ability includes conjuring ectoplasm (a physical substance materialized from the other side) from his mouth, which eventually produces one of the amazing visual gags of the film. Overall, “The Haunting In Connecticut” has enough spooks to stay relevant as a horror classic and a plethora of visuals, from a possessed shower curtain that attempts to suffocate its victim, to written incisions covering the entire body of Matt, to dead bodies falling out of the walls. With so many horrible horror films being produced every year, when a film like “The Haunting In Connecticut” comes around, you can’t help but be impressed.

[Directed by Peter Cornwell] [PG-13] [92 min] [27 March 2009]   07threehalf-stars

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