Today I watched the 2009 masterpiece A Haunting in Connecticut. I LOVED it when it came out, and even saw it twice in theaters! Let's see how it held up.
The movie opens up with Virginia Madsen's character looking for rental properties close to the hospital where her son Matt is being treated for cancer. I do not like what she's done with her face. She picks out the perfect house- big and spacious and haunted as fuck- and moves her two neices, two sons and her drunken husband in. Matt gets first choice of bedroom, so naturally he picks the terrifying basement saying it picked him. Then he hallucinates his mom mopping the floor with blood as she says she doesn't understand why he picked the basement. I suspect it has something to do with how half the room is behind a sealed door. How cozy! He goes and hallucinates some more, which is a problem because if he hallucinates, he'll be dropped from the experimental treatment program he's participating in. Mom shows her older neice around the house. There's a ghost in her bedroom and the wallpaper is hideous, and I'm not sure which is worse.
That night, Matt has some old-timey dreams about the sealed door and some beardy dude writing on corpses with a scalpel and stealing their eyelids.. He tries to open the door, and it BURNS HIS HAND, but that doesn't stop him from trying to get in again. This time, he's successful and finds himself standing in some kind of embalming studio IN HIS FUCKING BEDROOM and oh my fucking stars, I would want a new room in a new house on a new planet. Matt seems pretty okay with it, though, and invites his brother to play with the eyelid cutter and take a spin on the embalming table. Alkie Dad comes in and looks at the bottles of god knows what and the tables full of IMPLEMENTS and freaks out because his wife knowingly moved their family into a former funeral home. I know that feel, Alkie Dad. I'm on your side. Matt has some old-timey visions about a seance and freaks out because that's apparently way worse than a mortuary in your bedroom. Everyone had their eyelids and everything! He goes to the hospital and hallucinates some more and meets a priest. There's some stuff about death and I really just wanna get to the goddamn ghosts already. TIME'S A-TICKIN'.
Later that night, the younger neice is playing with dolls when a carved-up hand appears right by her hand and a shadow runs through the hallway. She calls for the lights to be turned on, and the ghost obliges, which is polite, I guess. The next day, everyone plays hide-and-seek and Matt follows a ghost down into his personal embalming studio, and when he gets there, there are bodies laying on the tables. Predictably, they've been visited by the eyelid snatcher and his scalpel. They surround Matt, who screams and scares his family, so he calls the priest. I'd call a realtor. After seeing the preist, Matt does sit-ups, like anyone else on death's door, and a burned up zombie appears. Then later his family comes home to find him in a fort fashioned out of all their chairs, clawing at the walls, and that's why I never do sit-ups- I don't have enough chairs to make a proper fort. Alkie Dad drinks while mom prays for something new to inject into her face. Matt keeps scaring the hell out of everyone by being creepy. Then everyone plays hide-and-seek again! That worked out well last time. Little brother hides in the dumbwaiter which is stupid, because the only thing those are used for is a hiding place for mummified babies. Except for THIS dumbwaiter, which contains a burned up zombie. The younger neice goes up to the attic and falls through the floor and comes across a box of eyelids. Don't lose those! Someone might be looking for them. Along with the eyelids, there's some old photos and Matt recognizes the subjects as people from his hallucinations, so he heads to the library to research. He learns about a deranged mortician (is there any other kind?) and the priest comes back to talk about necromancy and pray with the kids. Where the hell are mom and Alkie Dad? Mom barges in (presumably from shooting spoiled mayo into herself) just as Matt's having a vision, and throws the priest out.
That night, the hideous wallpaper comes to life and there's a ghost bird and a zombie, then mom finds a zombie in her room. It's like night of a thousand zombies. Alkie Dad comes home and drunkenly shouts about everyone sleeping with the lights on, so he steals the lightbulbs and leaves. The ghosts make the missing lightbulbs flicker on, which is kind of nice of them. They're HELPING. The priest comes back and makes the house angry, but says he fixed it. He leaves and Matt gets all carved up like the eyelid snatcher's cadavers, so he goes to the hospital. All the food is SUDDENLY ROTTEN and older neice gets attacked by a shower curtain while the priest calls saying OOPS THERE'S ALL KINDS OF BODIES HIDDEN IN THE HOUSE AND Y'ALL SHOULD GET OUT.
Matt's parents are informed that he's dying fast, but before they can see him, he runs away and goes back to the house, axe in hand, ready to chop shit up. Bodies come tumbling out of the wall- the preist wasn't kidding. There are DROVES of bodies. No wonder there are so many zombies. Anyway, he sets that mother on fire and finds himself surrounded by bodies before being pulled to safety and making a miraculous recovery. The lesson here is that ghosts are a better cure than experimental treatments.
What's the verdict? I feel teased by the promise of necromancy, but all I got were some fucking eyelids. I don't want eyelids! I want Dark Arts and voodoo curses! Also, there's a saturation point for eyelidless carved-up zombies, and I've reached it. Overall, not bad, but I'd rather hear less about praying and drunkenness and more about that beardy dude and his nefarious purposes.