Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Haunting In Connecticut - Generic Haunted House Horror

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Predictable jump scares. Mirror scares. Flashbacks to prior evils. Seances. A drunk unpresent father. A knowledgeable priest who saves the day. A fiery end. There is nothing about The Haunting In Connecticut that we have not already seen a hundred times over in any number of other haunted house horror flicks. It's a total paint by numbers affair that manages to cram just about every single ghost movie cliche into its hour and 45 minute run time and honestly, there's no reason to even bother with it. I will say that Kyle Gallner (glad he's in the Elm St. remake) and Elias Koteas (Casey fuckin' Jones!) were both really good in the movie, but that's about all it has going for it. Unless you've somehow never seen a movie before that involved a couple and their children moving into a new house that turns out to be haunted, HIC isn't even worth a rent. And yes, I watched the unrated cut, so don't be thinking it's any better if you've only seen the theatrical. Although the unrated is almost 10 minutes longer, many of the major differences seem to stem from the coloring of the film. Click here for a full in depth look at all the differences between the two cuts, if you're interested.

By the way, if you don't have a Blu-ray player and want to rent this flick unrated, you might have a little trouble finding it. Blockbuster and Netflix seem to only carry the rated DVD for some reason, while the Blu has both the rated and unrated on one disc. I'm thinking maybe the unrated DVD is only available to buy, thus giving non Blu-ray owners some incentive to make the switch? For the record, the movie doesn't impress in high def.

Now the funny thing about this release is that the special features, at least the ones that are on the 2 disc and Blu-ray, are much better and more entertaining to watch than the movie itself. There's a two part 40 minute documentary exploring the true story that inspired the movie, which gets pretty freaky when a crucifix falls off the wall at the exact point the mother is talking about how that used to happen in the house! Perhaps orchestrated, perhaps not. There's a nice little 10 minute look at the history of postmortem photography, called 'Memento Mori', that is highly interesting. It's pointed out in there how in the olden days people looked a lot healthier and more alive when they passed than they do today, thus making their after death portraits look highly creepy but at the same time more comforting to the family members. Due to the medical advancements of our time, which prolong sick peoples lives to the point where they deteriorate and look like a shell of their former selves by the time they die, as opposed to just dying shortly after they get sick, after death photos are no longer so comforting and that's a primary reason they are no longer used as part of the bereavement process. There's also a 12 minute featurette called 'Anatomy of a Haunting', which explores hauntings in general. Aside from that, it's the usual audio commentaries and making of's. Oh, and a Blu-ray trailer for Cabin Fever, which is coming soon!

What i'd suggest is that instead of buying or renting this flick, you should go ahead and rent or buy (only $4.50!!) A Haunting In Connecticut, which is the 2002 Discovery Channel docudrama that THE Haunting is essentially a remake of. I haven't watched it in a while but I used to watch it all the time on TV when I was younger and it scared the shit out of me. Just got it in yesterday from Netflix so i'll probably watch it again tonight but believe me, it's far better than the flick that just came out on DVD (and has insanely creepy narration). So if you're interested in the (allegedly) true story, watch 'A', not 'The'.

If you've seen either of these movies, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

16 comments:

Sean said...

I gotta keep up on your shit, I haven't even seen this movie and this is the reason why. I mean, most PG-13 horrors are just about the same, jump scares, red herrings, "creepy" images, no gore. Fuck off, movie.

Of course, these are the ones people ask me for on a daily basis, or ask me my opinion on at Blockbuster. I'm getting pretty snide too, saying "I don't watch PG-13 horror. I'm 24, not 13." Yeah, I'm that asshole.

Stac said...

I was really excited when I heard this was being adapted into an actual movie after also repeatedly watching A Haunting in Connecticut as well. It looked like there were some serious deviations from the original story and just decided to give a miss. To bad, because the original story is really creepy all on its own.

trixareforjen said...

*SPOILERS AHEAD* This movie was a complete let down, partially because the coming attractions looked so awesome that I built it up so much. However I don't think it was a terrible movie. Parts of it scared the hell out of me. The eyelid thing reminded me of that weird autopsy documentary you made me watch. What would have been frightening (and probably given me nightmares) is if the dead bodies that Matt freed from the walls, got up and started attacking him after they hit the ground. Some great special effects but overall I agree, generic haunted house movie, nothing special. Glad we rented it first because I don't plan on buying it. ;]

Quanthor said...

Maybe it's just me but part of whatever is coming out of his mouth on the DVD cover looks like a frog jerking off. lol

In fact to make sure I don't come across as a perv, I edited the picture so you can only see the masturbating frog in all his glory....or does that make me sound like more of a perv?

Anyways, judge for yourself!

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc20/iodine78/HIC-1.jpg

Johnny said...

Haha I see it! Perhaps a hidden subliminal message you've uncovered?!

Cins said...

Thats too bad. The trailer made it look like it had promise. But then so did the trailer for The Unborn and that was a big Turd Burger. The only think that sparks my interrest now is the fact that Elias Koteas is in it. I have had a childish crush on that man since Ninja Turtles.

Johnny said...

You and me both, Cins!

Cins said...

Johnny>> You have a crush on Elias Koteas too? ROCK ON! No one can ever be Casy Jones, EVER. He RULED.

Johnny said...

Ya i've always loved Casey Jones and thus, have always dug Koteas. Quite the underrated actor, if ya ask me.

OMGSeriously said...

I'm simply going to say yeah I didn't like it either.

Carl (ILHM) said...

Just watched this one last night Johnny and you are 10000% right on, I couldnt believe how terrible it was. I expected a tame ghost thriller, but it cheaped out at every possible moment. Barf.

Sean said...

I'm a big Casey Jones fan as well, but I grew up as a TMNT. lol

As for the Haunting in Conneticut doc, I just saw a trailer for it, I gotta get on that, looks creepy as shit. I hate ghost movies, but fucking love ghost shows/documentaries. How does that make sense?

Johnny said...

I'm the same way, Sean. Ghost movies bore me but I love the documentaries and shows. Have you seen the Discovery Channel show 'A Haunting'? The show was actually a spinoff of the Haunting in Connecticut docudrama and it's really creepy. The narration really sells it and makes it quite scary. Love that show.

Soap Magic said...

I saw A Haunting In Connecticut a lot when I was younger, and it freaked me out, especially the parts with the black-eyed demon. This is off-topic, but has anyone A Haunting In Georgia? That was freaky too.

Johnny said...

I think I saw Georgia but i'm not entirely sure cause I can't really remember. If I did see it, it was a long time ago. Definetly gonna Netflix the DVD of that. I'm pretty sure they're eventually making The Haunting In Georgia movie adaptation. According to Wiki, they're doing The Haunting in NY and if that does well, they'll move on to Georgia.

kaiyn said...

Finally watched this. Good thing I wasn't expecting much. I will say there was one thing that gave me the creeps, and that was the cutting off of the eyelids.
Best thing about the whole movie was Elias Koteas, though I remember him more as Thomas Dagget from The Prophecy than Casey Jones. ;)