Saturday, September 8, 2012

38. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

Title:        The Haunting in Connecticut 
Year:        2009
Supernatural Thriller
Type:        A-Movie
Run Time: 92


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Based on a chilling true story, Lionsgate's The Haunting in Connecticut charts one family's terrifying, real-life encounter with the dark forces of the supernatural. When the Campbell family moves to upstate Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlor where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner's clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to cross over.

Now, unspeakable terror awaits when Jonah, the boy who communicated with the dead, returns to unleash a new kind of horror on the innocent and unsuspecting family.

Alternative Synopsis
The True Story

The Haunting in Connecticut (not to be confused with A Haunting in Connecticut which came out in 2002) is a 2009 supernatural thriller, directed by Peter Cornwell, with claims of being based on true events (the terrifying account of events that plagued the Snedeker family).

Just how close did the movie come to the actual events? This of course, was the main question I had after watching this movie for the first time. Well I think it's important to note that A Haunting in Connecticut (2002) and The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) are based on the same events (Allen and Carmen Snedeker are in fact, the real-life versions of Ed and Karen Parker, from A Haunting in Connecticut). 

Posted below, is information containing some of the details surrounding the real-life story, which is said to be the inspiration for the film (The Haunting in Connecticut).

The Southington Funeral Home Case

"In 1986, Carmen and Allen Snedeker, along with their four children, relocate from their Upstate New York home in order to live closer to the John Dempsey Hospital at University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. The Snedekers' eldest son, Philip, was suffering from Hodgkin's disease and the university's hospital offered treatment they hoped would heal the teenager of his serious illness. The family apparently settled on renting the house on Meriden Avenue due to it being very affordable for its size and location. 

The Snedekers moved in on June 30, 1986 and took up residence in the downstairs apartment of the property.

It has been said that the Snedeker family did not discover the house's former use as a funeral home until after they had moved in, although neighbors and their former landlords dispute these claims. According to their accounts, the basement rooms used to prepare the former funeral home's deceased clientele were obscured from view by construction materials and Carmen did not notice it during her initial walkthrough and were only discovered after the family had moved in. Some items from the mortuary trade were apparently left behind in the basement, including a blood drainage pit, a box of coffin handles, and a casket lift. This area of the home became the bedroom for Philip and his younger brother, Brad, as there were no rooms large enough on the floor above to accommodate them.

Over the next two years, the Snedekers reportedly experienced a significant amount of paranormal phenomena that left the family shaken and, in some cases, bruised and battered. Today, the case is widely known in the paranormal field as the "Southington Funeral Home Case." The exact details of what the family was said to have experienced is not entirely clear, as the most readily available sources of information of the story are the dramatizations in book, television, and film form that even the family admits feature a variety of embellishments. Regardless, there are some details that the family has confirmed and/or were part of the initial news reports.

The Snedeker's noticed personality changes in their eldest son. Philip began writing disturbing things and dressing differently. The boy also made claims to his parents of having heard disembodied voices and seeing apparitions within the house; including a man dressed in a gray, pinstriped suit and perhaps most unsettling, a small boy that was dressed in Superman pajamas. His parents dismissed these claims initially as being hallucinations brought on by his cancer medications, as they reportedly did not witness any unexplained activity themselves. That would soon change."

Information taken from - The - Dark Destinations
please visit the following link to read the full article:

In a Dark Place - The Story of a True Haunting

The Book

An intriguing account of the Snedekers' encounter with the world of the supernatural describes the family's move into a converted Connecticut funeral home and their battle with sinister, inexplicable phenomena. 25,000 first printing. Tour. 

Author: Kevin Carraway 
Year Published: October 19, 1992

Amazon Link

Personal Thoughts

Sometimes, there's nothing like a good ole spine-chilling ghost story to cap off your day, especially when that ghost story is said to be based on actual events (as long as no one from the actual events died, or was seriously injured). Initially, I saw The Haunting in Connecticut in theaters back in 2009, but hadn't had the chance to see it again, until a few days.

Typically, movies with exorcisms, ouija boards, or long drawn out séances tend to be a bit too much for my taste. It doesn't scare me or anything, it's just not really my cup of tea. The Haunting in Connecticut, however, had a pretty nice blend of different elements -- a creepy séances (which the movie doesn't go overboard with), the usual, typical haunted house, ghost in the mirror scare tactics, commonly found in modern day ghost movies, along with a pretty touching story of a family in disarray, turned upside-down by the tragic, untimely and unfortunate condition of their son ... a family grieving, a mother hurting, trying to be strong for her son, while at the same time, agonizing over his battle with cancer. If you add those things together with solid acting, good music, and great cinematography, you definitely get a pretty solid movie.

Make no mistakes about it, I'm not saying that The Haunting in Connecticut is this all new "must see" 5 stars, original horror movie ... that's not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is, if your a fan of the paranormal, and of haunted houses and ghost stories, then it may be worth watching. It's arguably one of the more creepy and disturbing ones to have come out in the last few years or so. 

How Scary is The Haunting in Connecticut?

In all honesty, pretty decently scary in my opinion!  Some of you may have to sleep with the lights on after watching this one. The house alone freaked me out a bit. It would have been very difficult for me to live there because the place was definitely way to spooky for may taste, even though, in light of the situation (child battling cancer), I understand you have to do what you have to do, and take what you can afford. If that were me living in that house, for starters, I would not have been sleeping in that creepy, dingy basement, that much is sure, and from the time I actually saw a real ghost, I definitely wouldn't have been caught dead in the house all by myself, sleep or awake ... no sir! 

In closing, I enjoyed The Haunting in Connecticut. Though it does have its share of flaws (like almost every other horror movie on the market), and may not be a masterpiece, it was still an entertaining movie, with an interesting story. If you're a lover of ghost flicks, haunted houses, and paranormal phenomena, then you should definitely give it a watch, which is why I'm making it my next movie recommendation, one that I believe is most suitable for dark, cozy, gloomy autumn nights.

 Movie Recommendation Number 34 - Overall Recommendation Number 38
What I liked:

- The suspense 
- The ambience and atmosphere
- The story and overall concept 
- The acting

What I didn't like:

- I'm not really a fan of séances 
My Ratings

How good was it:     

How scary was it:        

How much did I enjoy it:
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