Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Haunting We Will Go

Desperate times call for horror flicks.

Many years ago I read somewhere that when times get tough the horror industry comes alive. I guess taking a detour out of reality and watching teenagers get hacked to bits makes us feel better about our real life woes? Apparently these are really desperate times because there has been a slew of horror, haunting and dark movies recently and more are in the loop.

Last night I actually had a rare evening with nothing on the agenda. Hubby was going to settle in and watch the Chiefs (it's too early for football!) so I decided I'd hit RedBox and grab The Haunting In Connecticut.

"Based on true events" is the beginning caption. Actually, inspired by real events would have been a more accurate account. The movie is very loosely based on the real life supposed haunting of a rental house and it's tenants, the Snedeker family.

The Snedeker's moved into the rental to be closer to a Connecticut hospital when the drive from New York got to be too much for their son plagued with cancer. Unbeknownst to them the house's previous life was as a funeral home.

I remember this in the media in the late 80's and a book about the haunting titled In A Dark Place by Ray Garton was released in the early 90's. If you follow this kind of thing you are familiar with the controversy surrounding this story. Here's a brief rundown of some of the scuttlebutt...

  • First up is no one living in the house before or after the events had anything remotely strange happen.

  • The upstairs tennant at the time (not shown in the movie) never experienced any strange events.

  • It is rumored that the son with cancer had some drug problems and mental issues.

  • Everyone else in the town knew the house's history and the landlord claims the family knew as well.

  • The landlord heard no concerns of any kind until an eviction process for unpaid rent was put into motion.

  • Ray Garton, author of a book on the haunting, claims family member's stories were inconsistent. He was encourage by Ed and Lorraine Warren (well known demonologists involved in the case) to take what he could and make up the rest.

  • The family remained in the house for two years despite claims of being raped by demons.

  • Now before anyone jumps down my throat I'm not taking sides in the matter. I couldn't really say whether there is any truth to the story as I was not there. I can say that based on reports from the family, the author of the first book (a new one is coming out soon by the mother Carmen Reed Snedecker) and the Discovery Channel episode on this haunting that the movie is not remotely close to the original story. And, it wasn't supposed to be a factual account type movie so that's Hollywood for ya.

    Actually the movie is pretty good if you like this kind of thing. I was especially impressed with the acting of Virgina Madson (the mom) and Elias Koteas (the son).

    So if you haven't seen it you might want to give it a go but take that whole "based on true events" thing with a grain of salt.

    P.S. If you are the curious sort like me and want to learn more about this haunting run a web search on Carmen Snedeker, Carmen Reed, Ed and Lorraine Warren or Ray Garton for starters. This is a hot topic among ghost hunters groups and there is quite a bit of interesting discussion out there.


    1. I do like Virgina Madson, so I have been thinking I should at least give this a watch. But like you said with all the meida about the whole story, kind of puts me off.

      Thanks for the review. I am going to add it to my netflix que!


    2. Madson does a great job in this piece. I hope you like it or at least find a haunting inspiration or two ;)


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