(We're reposting this review from SXSW to coincide with the film's theatrical release this weekend)
By: William Goss
Oh, actual events. Long have you reigned as the trump card in horror marketing, and only slightly less long have you been exposed as mostly malarkey. That hasn't stopped scarier films from finding their fans, nor the hokum from earning its opening weekend before vanishing into a blur of like-minded teen-targeting supernatural fare. Peter Cornwell's The Haunting in Connecticut falls firmly into the latter category, a run-of-the-mill spooker that often opts for Dolby jolts and Avid farts over character investment that itself rarely extends beyond asking why special effects happen to good people.
The crux of Connecticut is based on the allegedly true story in which a family found themselves terrorized in their new home, a former mortuary, back in 1987. While eldest son Matt (Kyle Gallner) receives and recovers from treatments for his cancer, he alone finds spirits roaming the house and tormenting his dreams. His parents (Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan) just try keep him comforted, assuring him and themselves that it's simply a side effect, but a similarly ill priest (Elias Koteas) suggests that being close to death has indeed put them closer to the realm of the dead, which is in turn bringing escalating harm to the household...