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March 26, 2009

The Haunting in Connecticut

Haunting-in-connecticut-poster This structurally defective horror movie never pays off on the carefully planted "Boo" scares detonate at a regular rate over the course of its underdeveloped story. In order to be closer to the hospital where their teenaged son Matt (Kyle Gallner) is undergoing cancer treatment, Sara (Virginia Madsen) and Peter Campbell (Martin Donovan) rent a bargain Victorian house in Connecticut with room enough for their two other children and a visiting niece. As it turns out the troubled property is a former funeral home that was inhabited by a kooky family of corpse-collecting, séance-leading weirdoes whose son Johan (Erik Berg) could make ghostly ectoplasm spew from the orifices of himself and others. Afterthought subplots about Peter's battle with alcoholism, and a cancer-suffering Reverend champion (poorly acted by Elias Koteas) lead the movie to its slapdash conclusion. Only Kyle Gallner's gothic performance, as the death's-door-victim who sees more than just ghosts, gives the movie any weight.  
(Lionsgate) Rated PG-13. 92 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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