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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
No strong/obvious positive role models. Characters (including a young teen) face cancer and are concerned about being able to afford medical treatment.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman is in the shower, but nothing sensitive is shown.
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Fairly mild, including "Jesus" as an expletive, "good Lord," "oh my God," and "hell."
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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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.