THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT
Release Date: March 27, 2009
Starring: Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner,
Elias Koteas, Martin Donovan,
Amanda Crew, Erik J. Berg, Ty
Wood, and Sophi [sic] Knight
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 92 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Director: Peter Cornwell
Executive Producer: Scott Niemeyer, Norm Wait and
Producer: Paul Brooks, Andrew Trapani,
Daniel Farrands, and Wendy
Writer: Adam Simon and Tim Metcalf
Address Comments To:Jon Feltheimer, CEO
Lionsgate AKA Lions Gate Films
2700 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 449-9200; Fax: (310) 255-3870
The movie begins in 1987 with Sara Campbell taking her son Matt back and forth to an experimental hospital program for very sick cancer patients. The drive is long, so she and her husband, Peter, decide they should buy or rent a house nearby for the family to stay.
The cheapest house Sara can find, however, has a spooky past. It used to be the site of a funeral home.
Sara does not tell her husband about the home’s past. Dark figures seem to stalk the family when they move into the house, and Matt chooses to live in the basement next to a room that seems to be sealed. Matt begins to have spooky visions of dead people, but it could be caused by his special cancer treatments.
One night, the room next to Matt opens up, and the family discovers some old mortuary tools that the funeral home used. Sara’s husband Peter is upset that Sara kept the fact from him and the rest of the family.
The family decides to stay in the house, however. Matt starts to see visions of the mortuary owner and his son holding spooky séances of some kind and writing scary incantations on the bodies of corpses while filling coffins with sandbags.
Matt’s cousin, Wendy, who lives with the Campbells, starts investigating the mortuary owner and his son. Meanwhile, Matt runs into another cancer patient who is also a reverend. The reverend says that he believes people on the brink of death like Matt and he may have a closer connection to life on the other side of death, but he calms Matt’s fears by reciting Psalm 23. “Fear no evil,” he tells Matt.
The ghostly attacks on Matt and the family seem to increase again. Matt and Wendy call on the Reverend to help them, which leads to more spooky revelations and situations.
THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT is a bit different from other ghost story movies and has some decent acting, but it’s not that believable or clever. Also, the worldview is mixed, with the movie’s occult horror elements too often overcoming the stronger-than-normal Christian elements in the plot. For example, the reverend says at one point, “We’re all in God’s hands,” but he also has some occult, spiritualist beliefs about ghosts.
Thus, although the movie contains very strong references to God, Psalm 23 and Jesus, it dilutes those beliefs with occult ideas about ghosts and séances, resulting in a syncretistic pagan worldview that is abhorrent. Regrettably, many people in this world combine their Christian faith with such occult beliefs, like those in Haiti and New Orleans who insert voodoo practices into their Catholic faith. This kind of heretical syncretism or fusion is extremely dangerous. It distorts the Gospel of Jesus Christ with demonic elements that have no business being believed by anyone, much less Christians. Hopefully, however, some of those who do happen to see this movie may be led to seriously pursue the Christian beliefs expressed in the story. Even so, MOVIEGUIDE® doesn’t recommend anyone to take that chance. As Jesus Christ shows in Matthew 4:1-10, the best way to drive away demonic forces and ideas is by relying on Scripture and what it says about spiritual and moral matters.
THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT is a bit different from other ghost story movies and has some decent acting, but it’s not that believable. Also, the worldview is mixed, with the movie’s occult horror elements too often overcoming the stronger-than-normal Christian elements in the plot. For example, a reverend says at one point, “We’re all in God’s hands,” but he also believes occult notions about ghosts. Ultimately, this kind of heretical mixture is very dangerous and abhorrent.