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May 1, 2020

A Binge too Far #10: The Haunting in Connecticut duo (2009 – 2010)

Creepy frame from The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
I was staring at the television when I caught an talk show in which the interviewer asked the interviewee if he is ‘refreshed’. Because I don’t watch television shows, I asked my wife to help me understand why the interviewer does not ask the subject something about his probable recent doings (maybe he appeared in a film, released a music record, or starred in a series?), only to receive the explanation that this sort of people don’t do anything really and they are simply celebrities (mainly popular on social media platforms of one variety or another). This amazed me, to say the least. A Binge too Far is about people that actually do something on screen, and this time around we get to have a brief look on The Haunting in Connecticut duo (2009 – 2010).

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

Set in 1987, when a troubled family (the son is a cancer patient and the father is an alcoholic), moves to a Connecticut house with a history, probably of the supernatural kind. Based upon the real-life story of the Snedeker family that moved to a Connecticut house in 1986 and investigated by the famous Warren couple, the screenplay was written by Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe.

The extended version that I opted for viewing this runs at 102 minutes (a considerably 10 more minutes than the theatrical version) is suffering of a few padding issues, as we get to witness long periods of time in which not much is happening. When things do happen, they are either of the ghost activity kind or the torture porn variety (both trends very relevant at the time this was released), and as such confusion ensues and the viewer does not know when to be scared and when to be disgusted. Director Peter Cornwell’s film is genuinely frightening at times and terribly boring at others. Made on a $10 million budget, it went on to gross $77 million, despite the bad reviews, and therefore it was super-natural for a sequel to follow.

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

This sequel is connected only in title with the original, and other than that director Tom Elkins (who also cut the picture, as he is an editor by trade) is offering a completely new story; one that is featuring the youthful Wyrick family (father is played by Chad Michael Murray, mother by Abigail Spencer, and daughter by Emily Alyn Lind) that just moved to a secluded house in Georgia that has a bit of history that goes back to the days of slavery and which in turn might have something to do with the origins of local ghost Mr. Gordy (Grant James).

When you have a 100 minutes and a witty screenwriter (David Coggeshall, mostly known for his TV work) at your disposal you can offer loads of character development, as is the case here. However, the rest of the movie is ‘by-the-numbers’ (this explicitly the case with its editing, for example) and it is only somewhat salvaged by its very attractive cast (another player, Katee Sackhoff is a joy to watch). It is at time genuinely creepy, but it mostly relies on grotesque aesthetics (the imagery is occasionally gross), rather than actual scares.

Based upon a book called The Veil: Heidi Wyrick’s Story which is about the events of the titular house in Georgia, the film’s attempt at connecting with some sort of ‘true story’ reality will appear credible only to the most hardened fans of such stories. The film received a limited theatrical release before being dumped into V.O.D. where it can be rented or purchased on the cheap, as is the case with its physical media release. Another sequel of sorts followed, The Amityville Murders (2018), which I had previously reviewed over at Weng’s Chop.


I just discovered ‘Tik Tok’ which appears to be an app in which teenagers sing and dance. Their videos – all shot with high-end mobile phone equipment – often get very creative, as these aspiring ‘content creators’ (dare not to call a new age videographer, an actual filmmaker) discover the secrets of cinema, pretty much filmmakers did so back in the age of silent cinema. The vast majority of those teenagers never saw the old black and white films that broke grounds and invented tricks, so they just discover them now all by themselves. How peculiar! Be sure to come back next month, when I’ll try to be less off-topic.

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