The Haunting in Connecticut



    Doctor says to patient, "You have cancer and you have Alzheimer's disease."

          Patient  says to doctor, "That's terrible but at least I don't have cancer."


The story centres around Matt Campbell, a teenager who is being treated for cancer with a trial therapy in a remote hospital. Matt's mother, Sarah, rents a house near the hospital; she learns that the house was previously a funeral home. Subsequently, they discover a door inside Matt's room in the basement, which severely burns Matt when he attempts to enter one night. Sarah finds old photographs from when the house was used as a funeral home. Later, the door in Matt's room swings open as Matt wakes during the night, revealing a mortuary. Matt experiences visions; during dinner he sees a vision of a seance from the point of view of a young man named Jonah. After his vision, Matt recites a rhyme to his cousin Wendy that disturbs her. The next day Matt has a vision of crabs crawling across the floor and over his body. He then meets Rev. Nicholas Popescu. That evening, the power cuts whilst Matt's little cousin is playing in her room, and a withered hand appears behind her after the light flickers off and on.....

Matt, his younger brother and cousin play hide and seek, with Matt seeking. After the others have hidden, Matt enters a room decorated with birds, and has a vision of Jonah. He watches as Jonah tries to gather belongings and run away as a masculine voice calls his name. The room returns to normal, but as Matt turns to walk down the hall, he hears the voice again as he looks through the banisters of the staircase. He runs downstairs and sees Jonah being grabbed by the owner of the voice, through the kitchen and down the steps to the basement, but the door to the mortuary room swings shut as he enters the room. Matt opens the door, and finds the room is full of corpses. The door shuts behind him, and he finds he cannot reopen it. Matt turns to see the bodies uncovered, and a foot of one of the bodies moves. He calls for Wendy, then looks up to see the bodies standing close. He attempts to push the corpses away, but the vision disappears and he is instead pushing his young brother away from him. Afterward, Matt calls the Rev. for help, who advises him to find out what the spirits want from him.

That night while Matt is working out in his room, a charred ghost appears by his side, and Matt ask the ghost what it wants. Matt sees a brief vision of fire. Later, his family return to the house, where they discover him paralyzed in a corner his hands covered in blood and the wall presumably scratched by his fingernails. At the hospital, Sarah and her husband Peter are told that Matt's behavior had not been an effect of his cancer or medication. Matt tries to tell his mother to do something in the event that he dies, but Sarah interrupts and tells him that he will not die.

During a game of hide and seek, Matt's younger brother encounters a badly burned ghost, and his younger cousin falls through some rotten floorboards in the attic. After she receives help, Matt discovers a box underneath the floorboards containing a number of photographs from the sťance. He also finds a box of human eyelids. The photos of the sťance shows a boy Matt recognizes as Jonah, and ectoplasm emerging from his mouth. Matt again recites the rhyme he had told Wendy, and links it with Jonah. They investigate the house's past in libraries, and discover that the previous owner, Doctor Aickman, conducted sťances in the house, using his assistant Jonah as a medium. During one of the sťances, Aickman and his guests all died and Jonah went missing. Matt then contacts Nicholas. Nicholas hypothesizes that Aickman removed the corpses' eyelids so the dead were not "at peace" and performed necromancy on the bodies that he was meant to inter to enhance Jonah's abilities as a medium. They also discover that the bodies were never buried; Aickman filled all the coffins with sandbags.

Nicholas asks for Matt and Wendy to pray with him for those spirits. As they hold hands to pray, Matt has another vision. He sees a sťance in which ectoplasm emerges from Jonah's mouth and turns into fire. Sarah enters the room and demands to know why Nicholas is there. Matt's vision disappears. Nicholas tries to tell her that the spirits in the house want her son and Sarah responds by telling Nicholas to leave. That night, Sarah sees a vision of a corpse standing in her room. Peter returns home drunk, and upon entering the house exclaims that every light is on. The children stay in Sarah's room as Peter walks around the house removing every light bulb. Sarah warns Peter afterward that he cannot come home if he gets drunk again. That night, the house has an electrical storm during the night, during which the television and other appliances turn on and off by themselves while light flashes where the bulbs in the lamps and ceiling lights had been.

Nicholas is called back the same night, and while he is searching the house for the restless spirit, he spots the figure in Matt's room. He notifies Sarah, who rushes to protect Matt while he is asleep. Nicholas enters the mortuary room, and talks to the spirit. He eventually looks into the mortuary oven, and is prevented from searching it as its door slams violently. Finding another way to explore it outside the house, Nicholas discovers ashes and a portion of a skull in the mortuary oven. While removing it, a bloodied figure is seen behind Sarah, walking towards Matt, shadows of birds are seen flapping in windows, and the doors and windows of the house begin to slam violently, which abruptly ceases after Nicholas has removed the remains. The figure in the basement disappears. Matt wakes to find runes being carved into his body by some force, and his screams alert his family who rush him to the hospital. Nicholas runs off the road after seeing the burned ghost in his rear view mirror. Both he and Matt have a similar vision, revealing that the burned ghost is Jonah. The visions of the sťance Matt saw concludes in Jonah accidentally using his medium powers to burn the other members of the sťance, including Aickman, to death. Jonah was then chased by their angry spirits into the dumbwaiter, which dropped down into the incinerator where he burned to death.

Nicholas realizes that Jonah had been trying to help the dead to escape while he had been alive, and Jonah's remains were the only factor keeping the rage of the other ghosts in check. He calls the household, but Wendy is in the shower, and is unable to hear the phone. Nicholas leaves a message explaining that they need to escape the house immediately.

At the hospital, Peter and Sarah learn that Matt's treatment has had no effect, and that he may die at any time. They request to see him, but upon entering his room, they find a man chanting the rhyme Matt had told Wendy, and the window broken. At the house, Wendy sees Matt crossing the lawn holding a fire axe, and immediately tells the children to hide, locking the door. But she fails to realize Matt's intentions, who tells her to get herself and the other two children outside the house, and not to put out the fire. He barricades himself inside the house and smashes the interior walls of the living room, revealing dozens of embalmed corpses. After setting the house ablaze the angry spirits of the victims surround him but the spirits are eventually released by the fire. Sarah runs in to save him and the firemen pull them both out of the burning house. Matt is revived and Jonah's spirit is released from Matt's body, and stands over him, seen only by Nicholas. After credits state that Matt's cancer went into total remission, and that the Aickman house was rebuilt and resold, with no further incidents reported.









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Directed by Peter Cornwell
Produced by Scott Niemeyer
Norm Waitt
Steve Whitney
Paul Brooks
Daniel Farrands
Phyllis Laing
Wendy Rhoads
Andrew Trapani
Written by Adam Simon
Tim Metcalfe
Starring Virginia Madsen
Kyle Gallner
Elias Koteas
Amanda Crew
Martin Donovan
Sophi Knight
Ty Wood
Erik J. Berg
John Bluethner
D.W. Brown
John B. Lowe
Music by  
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s) March 27, 2009
Running time 102 min.
Language English
Budget 54,210,000