While the “based on a true story” premise is always a pull for most non horror types, those of us who frequent horror movies know this means absolutely nothing other than a cheap attempt at money making. This film while ably serving up jumps and frights is let down by predictability and cheap thrills.
It's the usual story of tried and tested scare tactics, ghostly reflections, strange noises, ominous shadows and weird scary dreams. It is the sheer abundance of these occurrences that leave you wondering why the characters basically “reset” as if the next scary encounter is their first. What lifts this film above the rest are the strong performances from the two leads Virginia Madsen and Kyle Gallner. They invested a lot emotionally into their respective characters of mother and son and really their relationship was more interesting and gripping than the ghostly happenings around them. The film also conveys a sense of family values and the tough decisions and sacrifices which need to be made when your son is suffering from cancer. However the efforts are forced.
The film is packed full of neat ideas and tricks but the directors inability to weave them together into something coherent and original resulted in a sloppy rendition of every haunted house horror movie we've already seen. The priest who is able to see and vanquish the ghosts is surprisingly human and his gift for his ability is actually rational and makes sense.
The haunting in Connecticut is a decent horror film if a touch cliché with the twist at the end as something you could see coming from as far back as the opening credits. Horror fans will have a blast but will someone please teach the composer that horror music is more than a punch on the piano or a quick string pull across a fiddle.