‘Based on true events’
The Haunting in Connecticut is a 2009 American supernatural horror film directed by Peter Cornwell (Ward 13; Mercy) based on a screenplay by Adam Simon (Brain Dead; Carnosaur; Bones; Salem) and Tim Metcalfe (Fright Night Part 2; Bones). It was produced by Gold Circle Films.
The film grossed $77,527,732 against a reported budget of $10 million and debuted in the number one position on the DVD and Blu-ray charts with 1.5 million units sold. Unsurprisingly, it spawned a sequel in 2013, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia and A Haunting in New York is in development.
Promotional material for the film claimed that it was “based on true events” experienced by the Snedeker family of Southington, Connecticut in 1986. Ed and Lorraine Warren claimed that the Snedeker house was a former funeral home where morticians committed necromancy and/or necrophilia with the corpses, and that there were “powerful” supernatural “forces at work” that were cured by an exorcism.
However, according to skeptical investigator Benjamin Radford, there is “little or no proof that anything supernatural occurred at the house”. Radford wrote that author Ray Garton was employed by the Warrens to write the supposedly “true story” and was instructed by Ed Warren, “You’ve got some of the story — just use what works and make the rest up… Just make it up and make it scary.”
Virginia Madsen (Candyman; The Haunting; Dead Rising: Watchtower), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body; A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Walking Dead), Elias Koteas (Dream House; Shutter Island), Amanda Crew (Final Destination 3), Martin Donovan (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D; Nurse 3D), Sophi Knight, Ty Wood (Liar, Liar, Vampire), Erik J. Berg, John Bluethner, D.W. Brown, John B. Lowe.
The Campbell family move into a house (a former mortuary) to mitigate the strains of travel on their cancer-stricken son, Matthew. They soon becomes haunted by violent and traumatic events from supernatural forces occupying the house…
“The movie’s heebie-jeebie sound design errs on the side of shameless, but there’s a strong emotional core here, and a pretty good script (by Roger Corman protégé Adam Simon) which enlists a sick priest (Elias Koteas, nicely fatigued) to talk about the borderland between life and death.” Tim Robey, The Telegraph
” … it’s perhaps just a little too familiar for the exceedingly experienced horror freaks. If you’re a big fan of creaking floorboards, sudden jolts, and abandoned funeral homes full of furious spirits, you’ll find enough to enjoy in this familiar-yet-engaging enough little thriller.” Scott Weinberg, The Horror Show
” … it has the audacity to scold sceptics by issuing a warning to anyone who doubts the story’s veracity, which is a bit rich given it can’t even convince as the latest in a long line of duff Amityville Horror rip-offs.” Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman
“By the final reel you’ll either be swept along by the sheer energetic absurdity of it all, or you’ll be laughing at how goofy and muddled it is. The only thing you definitely won’t be is scared.” Loey Lockerby,
Kansas City Star
“As a piece of storytelling, The Haunting In Connecticut is pretty lazy. As a horror movie, it’s lazier still, bringing out every annoying shock-cut and disorienting sound-design trick of the last decade. Both Gallner and Virginia Madsen, who plays his mother, give credible performances amid the silliness, and the finale does find some disturbing imagery.” Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
“This convoluted story becomes mired in drama to the point where you’ll care little when you finally find out what is actually in the house. You’ll care even less when they take a stab at a twist ending, performed at the same blistering pace as the rest of the film. Note my sarcasm? The Haunting in Connecticut is not a bad movie, but it certainly is a flawed horror film.” Johnny Butane, Dread Central