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"The Haunting in Connecticut" Movie Review: A True Story About A Haunted House Unseen Boy Spirit In Goatswood CT


The Haunting in Connecticut Movie Review

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Almost 5 Stars!

**According to Directors, This Movie is Based on A True Story**

I Couldn't Wait For This Movie To Come Out!

There was a lot of hype and I got it the first day it was released on DVD.

I gave it 4 1/2 Stars (Yes,I am a tough critic!)

Basically, there is a teenage boy named Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) who has cancer. He qualified for an experimental study and the treatments are only available at one specific hospital, St. Michael's, which is very far away in Goatswood, CT. The long commute takes its toll on the family, so they decide to move closer to the hospital and find a great deal on an old house. They had no idea what they got themselves into!

Right from the start, Matthew begins to have visions. He chooses the room in the basement for his bedroom (which was furnished) and there is a double door that is locked and you can not see inside it. Matthew begins to "see" things; visions of dead children, among other things. He believes this phenomenon is a side effect from the experimental treatment. In fact, the doctor overseeing the project urges him to notify him of any visions or the like. Matthew, wanting to be freed from his burden of cancer, keeps it to himself.

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Is It A Real Story?

There are many instances of "Phantom" shadows, glitches, visions, reflections in the TV and so forth. There's a bit of confusion when Matt investigates strange noises coming from upstairs. For some reason he goes down to the bottom basement, sees a monster, than wakes up in a cold sweat in his bed.

Matt continues to have progressively horrifying images (he sees blood when he is watching his mother mop the floor), plates move around, tattooed bodies, burning doorknob, maggot infestation inside the wall, and many other strange things. He is confused: is he having these visions because of the medical treatment, or these things a real haunting?

Matt increasingly begins to display odd behavior: the door that was permanently closed opens and Matt is found spinning his younger brother, Billy (Ty Wood), in a very mean, possessed manner. As they check out the room that was previously sealed, they begin to realize that all of the things around them:operating table, syringes, bottles of formaldehyde-this was an embalming parlor; the house was an old funeral parlor.

One scene in the movie which especially caught my attention was when the family sat down for dinner together (yes, people actually did that in the 1980s!). As they all joined hands to say a prayer of grace, Matt has a vision that he is at a séance. Matt befriends a priest, Rev. Popescu (Elias Koteas), who happens to be in the same cancer study, and the priest comes to check out the situation.

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There are many individual supernatural happenings that I am leaving out of this review. There's a lot of cool stuff that goes on. I should mention that the father, Peter Campbell (Martin Donovan), is "on the wagon" as he quit drinking because he was turning into a jerk. At one point in the movie, we see him jump off the wagon, and is quite a jerk when he does.

In a latter interesting point in the movie while the siblings are playing "Hide-and-Seek", Matt sees a ghost calling out for "Jonah" and brings him to the embalming room. Matt becomes locked in the room and there are dead corpses that appear and become alive (do they qualify as "Zombies"?). All of these corpses have coded tattoos all over their entire bodies.

Furniture is supernaturally moved around, Matt scratches the walls which makes his fingers bleed, the Priest comes around again, The Mother Sarah Campbell (Virginia Madsen), begins to pray the Rosary (Must be Catholic!), and we arrive at the climax of the movie.

Both parents fear losing Matt.

Matt finds an old box buried under the floor that contains funeral papers, death certificates, and pictures of long ago dead people (Ever see those similar pictures in The Awesome Movie, "The Others"?)

But the weirdest find of all is a box filled with people's eyelids.

"One bright day in the middle of the night, two dead boys got up to fight." This is heard several times throughout the movie and eventually, Matt recognizes his place in that rhyme. Matt and Mom go to the local Library to research the history of the building. What they find out is that the house was indeed a mortuary-The Ramsey Igmand (Sp?) Mortuary. A boy-medium-psychic named "Johna, was the assistant.

There's another séance scene and Matthew relates to Johna as "Ectoplasm" comes out from his mouth, a supposed odd occurrence during such ordeals. Graves are dug up, bodies are missing. Matt revisits his Minister friend and they reveal that the funeral director was a sick, twisted Necromancer (Roughly translated: "Lover of the Dead") who sought power to control the dead. He used their bodies to enhance Jonah's powers; an amplifier if you will.

Matt's mom goes through a moment of truth, a bit of denial of her faith, Dad comes home drunk and mean, voices are heard, lights flicker, phone rings, and the family finally reunites in the living room. Ironically, Mom gets over her mid-life Faith crisis, calls the pastor and invites him over to perform an exorcism. During the exorcism many things happen: birds keep appearing, doors go crazy...everything seems to be alright.

Matt wakes up with the strange writing on him, the pastor gets into a car accident when he realizes that there's a monster in his back seat, Matt goes to the hospital and he is given a vision in which everyone in the famed séance dies. Johna tried to escape, Johna hides in what I thought was a "Dumb Waiter", but really turned out to be the crematorium. We figure out that the eyelids were not cut off so that the dead to see, but rather to make them unseen . The ghosts tried to frame Johna, Matt is progressively becoming more sick, and they decide to stop the treatment and give him a few days to live.

Matt escapes the hospital and shows up at his house with an axe. He begins to destroy the walls, discovering the missing bodies of the dead, and He starts a great fire. Now I have just one question: why didn't the bodies smell ? Anyway, he starts the fire with formaldehyde (ironic) and is destined to free all the souls that were trapped in the walls.

Mom goes in to try to rescue Matt and as she does, she recites the 23 Psalm. Matt's death was inevitable due to his cancerous condition, and so he is somehow able to free the ailing souls from the house. Firemen save them and CPR is performed and Matt is revived as he sees the priest.

Somehow, Matt's cancer disappears and he makes a full recovery. The house was completely damaged by the fire and a new Aikman house was rebuilt and re-sold. There have been no reported manifestations following these events.


JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 22, 2012:

Hello tammyswallow! I loved this movie! I really am a horror junkie. It's funny because this was one of my very first Hubs more than 2 years ago. Although it doesn't get a ton of comments, it does get more traffic than all my other Hubs! I appreciate all your comments! You are a great Hub Friend!


Tammy from North Carolina on January 22, 2012:

I love horror movies. This one was hard for me to watch. I have a phobia that makes it hard to look at "the carvings". But, this was a very dark movie. It had a great plot. You did a great job with this review.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 23, 2011:

Wow zoey24, I am very interested! I will definitely check it out! Thanks for the comment and link!


Zoey from South England on November 23, 2011:

Great review. I too watched the movie and it made me more curious about the real story behind the film. I wrote a hub on the real story if you were interested in finding out more about it, https://exemplore.com/paranormal/The-Real-Haunting...

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 23, 2011:

B. A. Williams thank you! I have never heard of that movie but I love Anthony Hopkins so I will have to check it out! Thanks for the suggestion and the comment! I'm heading to Netflix right now!


B. A. Williams from USA on November 23, 2011:

Nice review! You might like the movie The Rite which was based on a true story with Anthony Hopkins, still gives me chills thinking about it.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 22, 2011:

AudreyHowitt, it is scary! I am a horror lover myself! I appreciate your comment. Thanks!


Audrey Howitt from California on November 22, 2011:

This one sounds pretty scary and I love horror--great review!

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 22, 2011:

Hello imkd! I tried to find it but I do not believe that this title is available on 3D. That would definitely be cool! Thanks for stopping by!


imkd on November 21, 2011:

it seems a nice.. is it in 3d? I want to watch it.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on September 19, 2011:

@tngolfplayer: I hope that you let me know what you think once you watch it! Thanks for stopping by!


JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on September 19, 2011:

@rachealomack: That's a great point. I didn't think about it until you mentioned it! Thanks for stopping by!


tngolfplayer from Knoxville on September 19, 2011:

Added another movie to my "must see list". Great information.

rachealomack from levittown, NY on September 18, 2011:

The movie never explained the codes in the zombie's bodies.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on September 18, 2011:

I agree with you timz. This was a great movie. I enjoyed the "Saw" franchise as well, but this movie was produced just right. Every time you thought you knew what would happen, something else occurred. This was an excellent movie! I appreciate your comment!


timz from Michigan on September 18, 2011:

This movie was much better than I had anticipated. I will even go as far as to say that it by far surpasses the Saw Franchise. The movie was not the least bit predictable and had your mind going throughout the entire film. 'The Haunting In Conneticut' was by far one of the best paranormal phenomena movies I have seen to date. Whether or not the film was actually base upon a true story or not doesn't matter, fact or fiction, this movie was great!

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on July 17, 2011:

Thank you Seeker7! It really was a great movie! Thanks for stopping by!


Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on July 17, 2011:

An excellent review. I've seen this one and quite enjoyed it. I'm a believer but felt it was really hyped up as I'm sure the paranormal phenomena was too good to be true - but I could be wrong. Most of the phenomena I've experienced has been, as usual, very subtle and quiet. On the other hand maybe I've just met nice spooks! LOL. Loved this hub.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on July 10, 2011:

I loved this Horror Movie! I think I might watch it again!


JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on June 18, 2011:

Glad you came back again, d.william! I appreciate that! It was a great movie regardless of whether it is true or not. I am glad you enjoyed it and happy that you came by to share! Thanks.


d.william from Somewhere in the south on June 18, 2011:

Hey. Finally got to see the movie. I don't have any belief in such things, but i did enjoy the movie. thanks. dw

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on June 18, 2011:

Let me know what you think if you watch it Fullerman5000. Thanks for stopping by!


Ryan from Louisiana, USA on June 17, 2011:

I debated seeing this movie. it seems like there was a lot of these scary movies coming out on similar topics. but after reading this i will have to give this movie a watching. thanks

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on May 02, 2011:

I am a skeptic myself, but I do enjoy the movies if they are produced well. I'm glad you caught the TV special. It is a creepy story! Thanks for coming back with your response.


d.william from Somewhere in the south on May 02, 2011:

I never got around to renting that movie, but last night there was a two hour special on t.v. called " A haunting in Connecticut" that chronicled this story. Probably not as scary as the movie, but really creepy. Supposedly based on real life events. Hard to believe.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on April 23, 2011:

Thanks d.william! Let me know what you think. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting and I look forward to your response.


d.william from Somewhere in the south on April 23, 2011:

Good article. I don't usually like this type of movie, but after reading this hub, i will go out a get this one. Thanks for sharing.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on April 12, 2011:

Definitely Scary! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


geber on April 12, 2011:

Most horror movies aren't really that scary, but this one is a real hair raiser.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on April 09, 2011:

Thanks mariahpoo! Appreciate the comment. Thanks for stopping by!


mariahpoo from Northern California on April 09, 2011:

I watch the documentary before watching this Hollywood version.

I really like the Hollywood version... but they did "Hollywood" it up a bit. I think this is the scariest movie I have seen in a long time. I love ghost movies!

Great overview!

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on September 10, 2009:

Acording to the media hype about this movie, it is based on a true story. To be honest, I have not done research on this house beyond watching the movie...as for Beth's question, I think that what is meant by making them "Unseen" refers to the evil being there but not in typical "Ghost" format, but rather, suoernatural forces.

stephanie on September 09, 2009:

is there really such a house as the aikmen house

beth on August 22, 2009:

what does it mean to make them "unseen."