The Haunting in Connecticut

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
The Haunting in Connecticut Movie Poster Image
Unoriginal, shoddy horror film is too gory for young kids.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 50 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No strong/obvious positive messages. The question "Why do bad things hapen to good people?" is asked. Characters also talk about how "the Lord works in mysterious ways" and frankly discuss how alcohol and alcoholism affect a marriage and a family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No strong/obvious positive role models. Characters (including a young teen) face cancer and are concerned about being able to afford medical treatment.

Violence

Plenty of violence and gore, with extensive depiction of blood, scars, cuts, wounds, and mass graves filled with emaciated, mutilated corpses. Ghosts take the form of mutilated corpses. Close-ups of medical instruments and procedures undertaken in the name of dark magic/sorcery/paranormal experimentation. Supernatural violence as restless spirits shove, push, and batter victims.

Sex

A woman is in the shower, but nothing sensitive is shown.

Language

Fairly mild, including "Jesus" as an expletive, "good Lord," "oh my God," and "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink hard liquor. A recovering alcoholic starts drinking again, driving drunk and frightening his family; he later apologizes, atones, and tries to make amends.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a review of the movie shown in theaters and not the Unrated Special Edition, which is sure to have scarier, raw content. This "based on a true story" horror film, while milder than movies like Saw, is still too scary and disturbing for kids. It's full of mutilated bodies, bloody scenes, supernatural violence, and medical and autopsy imagery. There are also fairly serious discussions of the challenges facing a teen fighting cancer. One character is a recovering alcoholic who starts drinking again and ends up driving drunk. But the language doesn't get much stronger than "hell" and "oh my God," and sex and product placement aren't an issue.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRarityfan2019 February 8, 2020

Sudden jumpscare!

In the row of Warren case movies. Based on real events.
Adult Written byPakalana December 31, 2019
Teen, 13 years old Written bySmores2011 May 24, 2016

You Might Want To Turn It Off Before The Pictures At The End...

There are some incredibly disturbing parts. There are parts with dead people eye lids being cut off and they find them in a metal tin. There is also boy, around... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 7, 2014

RATED PG 13 FOR SCARES AND A LITTLE BLOOD

I ONLY SAW A SHOWER SENCE IT WAS SCARY

What's the story?

In THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, the Campbell family purchases a home so that their son Matt (Kyle Gallner) can be closer to treatment for his cancer. The home, it turns out, used to be a funeral home -- and as the uneasy spirits who were tormented there rise up to haunt, bedevil, and assault the Campbells, Matt becomes the vessel for their supernatural rage. Can the love of Matt's mother (Virginia Madsen) and father (Martin Donovan) and the efforts of a cancer-patient priest (Elias Koteas) quiet the old funeral home's angry ghosts and save the family?

Is it any good?

The Haunting in Connecticut is similar to other haunted house epics like The Amityville Horror; it's so similar, in fact, that you have to wonder what the point was in making it. Despite a cast of excellent actors, the movie is dreary and dull, relying on obvious jumps and jolts to scare us and culminating in an orgy of special-effects violence as poorly made as it is tedious.

If The Haunting in Connecticut were better made, it wouldn't feel so familiar; if the story didn't rip off The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, The Ring, and dozens of other movies, perhaps the movie's tiredness wouldn't sting quite so much. Cliched, tedious, and full of cheap jumps in the absence of true horror and suspense, The Haunting in Connecticut is somehow jam-packed with dead bodies but completely devoid of any reason to care about the live characters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of horror movies -- why do we like to watch things that scare us? 

  • Which is scarier: a movie with a ghostly villain or one with a real-life bad guy? Why? 

  • How accurate do movies have to be when they're "based on a true story"? Can filmmakers make changes even when they're using that label? Is that OK? Why would they want to change things?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scary movies

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