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Film / The Haunting in Connecticut

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The Haunting in Connecticut is a 2009 American supernatural horror film directed by Peter Cornwell. Seemingly based on a true story, it follows the Campbells (Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Martin Donovan, and Ty Wood) as they deal with violent events from supernatural forces from the house they had just moved into.

The film also stars Elias Koteas, Amanda Crew, and DW Brown. An In Name Only sequel, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, was released in 2013.

Tropes for the film:

  • Barred from the Afterlife:The souls of the people whose bodies were mutilated by Aickman are tied to the mortuary as long as their bodies are hidden in it.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The film purports to be based on a true story. However, Ray Garton, the author of the book (and a Discovery Channel documentary) was based on, has admitted that the "true story" was a fabrication. He has said that none of the family members could get their story straight, and that they were dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction at the time, which may have affected their judgement. He brought his concerns to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the case investigators and self-professed "demonologists" (who, not coincidentally, also investigated the Amityville case); they reportedly told him to "make it up and make it scary".
  • Cat Scare: The film did this for the second shock moment in the movie. Barely a minute after the first shock, Matt is investigating the plane of glass where it came from, and the camera then cuts to his mom slapping a mop on the ground. After a moment of relief, the viewer can see that the water she's using to clean has turned into blood.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Played straight; that said, the recipient of CPR was possessed by a spirit at the time, and was only brought back after said spirit left his body.
  • Demonic Possession: It's unclear how willing Matt was in sharing his body with Jonah leading to a situation somewhere between this and Willing Channeler.
  • Ectoplasm: The film gives ectoplasm a very distinctive appearance, resembling sewage in coloration and texture, but floating in the air like fog. More disturbingly, it emits from a medium's mouth while they're channeling spirits.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Aickman, the mortician, who mutilated some of the bodies that came to his mortuary as a means to enhance his Spooky Seances.
  • Friendly Ghost: Jonah, who was trying to protect the Campbells from the other malevolent spirits
  • Haunted House: The former mausoleum, aka, the Campbells' current rental.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: The main central tune is Two Dead Boys.
    On bright day in the middle of the night
    Two dead boys got up to fight
    Back to back they faced each other
    A deaf policeman heard the noise
    He came and killed those two dead boys
    One bright day in the middle of the night
  • I See Dead People: Matt and Reverend Nicholas Popescu.
  • Mirror Scare: Jonah pops up in Popescu's rearview mirror after the reverend takes Jonah's remains from the house.
  • Murder by Cremation: It's revealed that the little boy who's haunting the sickly teen in the present died when the other ghosts of the house locked him into the cremation furnace and turned it on.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Believing that Jonah's spirit was the one terrorizing the house, Popescu removed his remains. Unfortunately, after getting a Once More, with Clarity on the night the seance went wrong, he realized that the tormented spirits of everyone whose bodies Aickman mutilated were imprisoned in the house, and that Jonah was keeping them in check, but by removing him, Popescu inadvertently took away the Campbells' only protection from the angry spirits.
  • Off the Wagon: During the film, the father starts out in recovery and later falls off.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Aickman in the flashbacks. Notably, the effect falters to show his fear during the seance when Jonah begins to choke on ectoplasm.
  • Spooky Séance: One of these got Aickman and three other participants killed, and indirectly led to Jonah's death.