I had the opportunity to check out an early free screening of Peter Cornwell’s The Haunting in Connecticut and I was everything outside of satisfied and more importantly, scared. The film takes place in the mid 1980’s and centers around a cancer stricken teenager and his very supportive family. In an attempt to seek recovery, Matt Campbell is placed in radiology experimentation. The conflict? The whole family must move into a rental home in Connecticut to be closer to what seems to be the only hospital with this technology for miles. Furthermore, the old house was once a mortuary where a doctor practiced illegal activities with the dead many years ago. Even further, the house is extremely haunted.
Everything sounds good so far? Not really. Same story with different elements. How many times will I see a film about a haunted home where only one family member can see the spirits for half the film and everyone else believes that character is crazy. When the snake is finally out of the bag, no one ever says, “Okay. Let’s get the fuck outta here.” Ridiculous! The film starts as an interview of the mother in present time. She’s ranting on about how no one will believe her and we go into one long flashback for the duration of the film. The first half of the film continues on like a run of the mill horror flick, switching from slightly eerie to mediocre. Then, the plot takes a sudden turn at the mid-point of the film as always. The kids find a secret possession somewhere in the house, but I became appalled when one of the characters suggest they do research on what they have found. WTF!!! GET OUT!!! No, they have to do a sequence where they discover so much because all of a sudden, one of the characters become an expert in the history of the house. Very predictable. The rest of the film is all about different plot turns and enough side stories to make you feel as if you’re having a conversation with a crack addict. The ending was Hollywood. Everything is peachy. Everyone’s life continues on. This is based off a true story so…what can you say?
I will say some of the effects were cool, although some were duds, such as the ghost figures and the mummified bodies. Yes, I said mummified bodies. There you go. If anyone asks my opinion, and I’m not saying anyone did, stay away from this one like any sane human being would have stayed away from that house.
Donald A.C. Conley