Sunday, June 13, 2010

connecticut four.

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009).
Dir: Peter Cornwell.
Cast: Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Ty Wood, Martin Donovan, Sophi Knight and Amanda Crew.


"It's okay, ma'am, I'm a Reverend!"

Homely Catholic mum of three Sara Campbell (the frankly amazing breasted star of 80's computer based rom-Tron Electric Dreams and cult criminal caper Reservoir Dogs Madsen) spends her days caring for (and listening to the constant nasally whining of) her cancer-riddled (yet still buff and fairly handsome, must be cancer of the acting gene) teenage son Matt (Gallner from Jennifer's Body).

Living in another state whilst having to commute back and forth for Matt’s treatment is taking its toll on the family tho' so they (Sara, ex alcoholic dad Peter, buck toothed ball headed son Billy, messy haired moppet Mary and cousin or something Wendy) decide to relocate closer to the hospital so that he can participate in some special cancer trials.

Well I say it's the stress of her child being ill that's causing all the trouble but I'm putting the strain down to the fact that Matt spends most of the time sprawled across the back seat of the family car in a pool of his on vomit whilst coming out with lines like "The cancer's not your fault mom!" and looking teary eyed into the middle distance.

I mean it's enough to wear down the best of us, self obsessed arse.

Virginia Madsen sweeps up the
remains of her once proud career.

While searching for a new home (and I mean that quite literally seeing as the film features loads of shots of her driving about and squinting at streets intercut with footage of a topless Matt having injections as bland music plays. Endlessly), Sara stumbles across a huge, olde worldy house that seems way too good to be true.

Especially when the owner only asks for five pounds for the whole thing.

Being notoriously tight (as well as careful with money, phnarr) Sara signs on the dotted line and excitedly tells the rest of the family the news.

Arriving at their new home and weighed down with those tea chests you only see in films, Matt freakily claims the basement as his bedroom and, surprise surprise, within minutes of dumping his load in the corner of the room he starts seeing dead people.

Sara, being a good Catholic mum, fondles her crucifix and blames his visions on his current treatments.

But Matt, in his own dreamy way, isn't too sure.

What he (and his more and more shot to fuck mum) is sure of tho' is the fact that if he reports it to the hospital he'll get kicked off the drugs programme and surely die.

No great loss then.

"What have I told you about
wanking over the sideboard?"

Between smashing plates, vomiting and seeing all manner of spooky stuff in and around the house Matt is surprised to discover that there's a fully working embalming room behind a stiff door in the corner of the basement.

This unusual (well unless you live in the Gorbals area of Glasgow) discovery is the final straw for poor Matt (and it has to be said most of the audience) and the annoying little shite begins his dark descent into cancer drug fuelled madness.


Too afraid to reveal his visions to his family and far too stupid to realise that the house is haunted Matt wanders around the house with a look of mild concern on his smug, square face until one day whilst undergoing some more 'treatment' (which seems to involve him sitting sweatily in a chair whilst watching teevee) he's befriended by a Catholic priest named Jeff Popescu (professional bridesmaid Koteas).

More interested in Matt's problems than in his peachy, tight arse, Popescu explains that it's the teens proximity to death that makes him more receptive to supernatural occurrences.

Well that's that sorted then.

Before Matt leaves the priest offers him his card in case he feels like discussing his ghostly problems.

Or fancies a wee bit of religious themed sodomy obviously.

"Watch as I lift the table
without using my hands!"

As his visions become more and more terrifying, Matt must discover (with the help of Wendy and the local library-yup, it's that easy) the origins of the horrific happenings in the house if he hopes to save not only his soul but the souls of his family before it is too late....

"Psychic shite in mah mooth!"

Allegedly based on true events (insofar as someone once purchased a house in Connecticut), director Peter Cornwell takes every well worn cliche of the haunted house genre and drags them naked, kicking and screaming in front of the cameras before throwing buckets of warm shite and them, dowsing them in petrol and finally lighting a match.

All in serious teevee movie of the week earth tones and that horrible speeded-up David Fincher directing Sesame Street style that had become boring as far back as 1997.

The script throws originality, common sense and any semblance of suspense to the wind in an attempt to out bore (and out po-face) even the original and abysmally earnest Amityville Horror and viciously drag the genre back to it's darkest pre-Ghostwatch days whilst stealing (then badly botching) dozens of the most memorable scenes from the horror classics back catalogue.

From The Exorcist to The Sixth Sense via Kubrick's The Shining, nothing and no-one is safe from the mucky paws of Cornwell and his 'writer' chums Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe, who between them have already spoiled us with such classics as Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love and Carnosaur.

Need I go on?

Head: Wood.

Credit where credits due tho' there is something genuinely terrifying in the movie that gave me sleepless nights for days afterwards.

Unfortunately it's the balloon faced, tombstone toothed visage of young Ty Wood that caused my sleeping troubles, I mean forget concentrating on the plot just gaze in wonder at how such a tiny frame can support such a huge head without snapping.

The things they can do with special effects these days eh?

1 comment:

The Vicar of VHS said...

Admit it--you chose this film for that epic mooth-shite scene alone, didn't you? ;)

I heard nothing but bland things about this one when it came out, which made me unwilling to plop down $10+ so experience the mediocrity first-hand. I'll stick with my imported GHOSTWATCH dvd, thanks. Now *there's* a frightening flick.