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The Haunting in Connecticut | 2009 | PG-13 | - 3.7.5

Based on a documentary from the Discovery Channel, it portrays the difficulties encountered in the 1980s by a couple (Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan) as they move into a rental home with their teenage son and daughter (Kyle Gallner and Amanda Crew). The house is conveniently near the cancer clinic required by their chronically ill son, but seems to have some unwanted inhabitants. Also with Elias Koteas, D.W. Brown, and Ty Wood. Directed by Peter Cornwell. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Several scenes show nude corpses lying on exam tables in a laboratory: except for covered genital areas and nipples, the torsos and arms are wrapped in thin gauze. A teen boy is shirtless as he scratches at a wall in his house (see Violence/Gore for more details). A teen boy appears shirtless in order to show changes in his skin (see Violence/Gore for more details). A teen girl in a shower has bare shoulders and arms.
 A man and a woman hug briefly.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - There are several scenes that include wolf howls, growling, howling wind, creaking floorboards, flocks of black birds and their shadows, skittering noises under beds, sudden appearances of male apparitions in hallways in the shadows, appearances of an apparition that is completely carbonized with burns and covered with blood, ghostly faces staring through windows, and apparitions of an older man and two teen girls chanting over a corpse that the man is tattooing with a scalpel.
 A young teen boy hides in a cabinet not realizing it is a lit crematorium and he is burned to charcoal; we also see several images of adults burned to charcoal and lying on tiled and carpeted floors. Several scenes depict a young teen boy shaking during a number of séances and vomiting smoky ectoplasm that nearly fills the room; when the room is full each time, the ectoplasm catches fire and burns everyone in the room to a blackened crisp.
 Three scenes depict a middle-aged man chanting and cutting phrases into the skin of corpses with a sharp scalpel (we see some blood ooze from the markings). A teen boy develops a full-torso rash that turns into blisters and then they ooze blood (he is taken to the hospital emergency room for treatment). A teen boy appears shirtless, with blood dripping down his from having scratched a wall; his mother screams and takes him to the hospital.
 We see that the eyelids of a corpse have been cut off (there's a little blood). A teen boy finds a box full of dried, severed eyelids and photos of scenes he sees in his nightmares and day visions. Many corpses fall into a dusty pile, they are covered with formaldehyde and set on fire.
 Mop water on the floor of the basement in one scene turns to blood and then back to soapy water, and figures cloaked in black with faces covered briefly appear in mirrors, window glass, and TV screens; dishes disappear from a kitchen counter, appear in a kitchen cupboard, and then fall from the ceiling and smash on the floor, and a carbonized and slightly bloody apparition appears briefly. Blood flows through a pipe. A teen puts his hand against a porch pillar and it passes through and into a huge amount of decaying red meat with wriggling maggots. A teen boy picks up a box of pictures and finds several long, thick worms.
 Several scenes show ritual markings covering entire corpses in a funeral home embalming lab. Written words appear scratched into the skin of a teen boy's neck and shoulders. A woman sees a tattooed corpse standing over her bed in the night as she awakens. . We see a vision of corpses being carved with tattoos for necromancy rituals to bring back the dead.
 A young boy hides in a dumbwaiter, where a dark figure sits close behind him, the child turns and screams and beats on the door until an older girl gets him out. A man sees the apparition of a boy in his rear view mirror and drives off the road. A young girl walks up a dark staircase to an attic, the door shuts behind her, she steps through a rotten floorboard and gets her leg trapped. A teen boy sees a room that has changed to sepia tones, with 1890s furniture and a younger teen boy runs through the live boy twice.
 A family moves into an old house that was a funeral home and it looks decrepit and run down; a locked basement door won't open and the family seems uneasy. A teen boy has visions of the funeral processes that had been performed in a funeral home (we see corpses as they are chanted over and tattooed with obscure languages). Embalming tools are found. A necromancy kit is found under floorboards. A man searches a house for trapped spirits, the house shakes, lights flicker, doors open and shut, electricity crackles, and we hear bird wings flapping and snarling growls.
 A man finds a jawbone and ashes by an old crematorium. A man drives away with human remains in his car, and he sees the apparition of a burned boy in his rear view mirror and drives off the road.
 We read newspaper headlines about a necromancy cult. A teen boy says that he keeps hearing a rhyme: "Day by day and night by night, two dead boys get into a fight." A teen boy says he feels that he is dying and his mother sternly says that he is not and leaves the room. A teen boy is diagnosed with cancer and is told that he may die from it. Several times in the film a teen boy doubles over in pain and cries out briefly. A teen boy shakes with fever. A woman states that her cancer-ridden son had undergone a healing. A teen boy tells his teen sister about visions that he is having and she becomes frightened. A teen boy says that an apparition of a boy brings him a message of death. A man and a woman argue briefly. A husband and his wife argue briefly. A woman and her teen son talk about vomiting.
 A teen boy vomits copious amounts of white, foamy goo. A teen boy has several visions of a younger teen boy vomiting up clear fluids and finally murky ectoplasm that rises to fill the room and catches fire.
 In three scenes, a teen boy receives radiation treatment from a large machine that revolves around him slowly. A teen boy appears to be dead, EMTs do CPR, and the boy is revived and coughs up smoke.
 A teen boy carrying an axe chops his way into a house. A teen boy shoves children and other teens out of a house as they scream for him to come with them. A teen boy spins a young boy around on an embalming table until the child screams. Several apparitions rise and encircle a teen boy.
 A long series of sepia and black-and-white photos from the late 19th Century depict funerals held in homes with corpses in coffins or laid out on beds. Dozens of images of corpses covered with hieroglyphic phrases carved into their skin across the whole body are shown.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 2 mild obscenities, 2 anatomical references, 5 instances of name-calling (insane, crazy, ghoul), 14 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man arrives inebriated, we see people in a bar drinking beer, we hear that a man is a recovering alcoholic, and a man has an open bottle of vodka sitting on a table (he does not drink any of it).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Supernatural beings and events, necromancy, séances, chants and prayers, religions, cults, spell casting, exorcism, corpse mutilation, illness, death, fear, moving, money problems, alcoholism, danger, imagination, family, spontaneous healing, trust.

MESSAGE - Fear no evil, because the truth is stronger.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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