THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT Add To My Top 10

Dangerous Mixture

Content -4
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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

Genre: Horror

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 92 minutes

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
Website: www.lionsgatefilms.com

Content:

(PaPaPa, FRFRFR, OOO, CCC, BBB, LL, VVV, N, AA, MM) Very strong mixed, false syncretistic pagan worldview combining very strong, dangerous occult ideas that too often overcomes very strong Christian and moral/biblical content including ghosts haunt house bought by Catholic family, haunting rooted in evil necromancy rituals and séances in the past by mortuary father to enhance teenage son’s occult medium powers, background story includes mortuary father steals bodies of the dead to write on them with spells, past séances shown in visions, mother of Catholic family has rosary beads with a Cross and prays to God for her teenage son’s recovery from cancer, positive overt references, quoting and prayer using Psalm 23, Christian reverend who helps family says, “We’re all in God’s hands” but also accepts some occult theories, speculations and practices about appearances of “ghosts” and getting rid of them, a healing apparently takes place after evil forces are removed, poltergeist activity, and dialogue refers to God’s ways being mysterious but that people don’t know just how mysterious they can be; one “h” word, two strong profanities, seven light profanities, and teenager with cancer gets sick and vomits; very strong scary violence includes dead bodies and ghosts of dead bodies appearing, ghosts with burnt bodies, dark ghost figures in mirrors and behind people who don’t know it, poltergeist activity of slamming doors and dropping dishes on floor, fire caused during séance, fire started to burn dead bodies and remove angry ghosts, drunken father yells at family and smashes light bulbs, implied mutilation of bodies for occult purposes; no sex; upper male nudity; implied alcohol use and drunkenness in one scene; no smoking; and, lying, fatalism, brooding teenager, and fathers seem to be susceptible to evil.

Summary:

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT is a ghost story about a family being haunted by ghosts in a house that used to be owned by an evil mortician with a psychic son who led séances so that clients could contact the spirits of their dead loved ones. This movie has some decent acting but it is unbelievable and not very clever. It also contains a mixed worldview that combines very strong occult beliefs with some very strong references to God, Christianity and the Bible.

Review:

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT is supposedly based on a true story about a family being haunted by demons, but the author of the book about the events says he found inconsistencies in the mother and father’s stories. Be that as it may, the movie apparently adds a lot of things to the original story. Instead of demons haunting a house, the movie has ghosts.

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.

In Brief:

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT takes a real haunted house story that’s probably a phony hoax and enhances it with spooky, unbelievable effects. In 1987, Sara and Peter Campbell move their family into an isolated house so that their teenage son, Matt, can get special cancer treatments at a nearby hospital. The house used to be owned by an evil mortician, however. The mortician dabbled in occult magic to enhance the psychic powers of his own teenage son, who leads séances so people could contact the spirits of their dead loved ones. Of course, this eerie past unleashes all sort of scary phenomena which haunts the parents, their children and a teenage cousin who lives with them.

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.