Sexy genre veteran Virginia Madsen, 47, stars as Matt's protective, melancholy mother who relocates the family, including Matt's much younger brother and sister and their cousin Wendy, to Connecticut to be closer to a hospital offering a radical new cancer treatment.
Ma Campbell finds the perfect house to rent. A ramshackle Victorian number, it has many dark cubbyholes, a scary dumbwaiter, and a super-creepy basement.
The setting is apt: Connecticut's state motto, Qui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted still sustains), could be the definition of ghosthood.
Who still sustains? Try an entire town of spirits: Matt finds out his new home is a former funeral parlor. What's more, the proprietor used a young medium named Jonah to do scary things.
Jonah haunts Matt, who learns he must undo the evil done by the funeral director to save his family. Good performances and an eerie atmosphere can't save the flick: I'd wait for the DVD.
The Haunting in Connecticut ** (Out of four stars)
Directed by Peter Cornwell. With Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Martin Donovan and Amanda Crew. Distributed by Lionsgate.
Running time: 1 hour, 32 mins.
Parent's guide: PG-13 (disturbing images, adult themes, corpses).
Playing at: area theaters.
Contact staff writer Tirdad Derakhshani at 215-854-2736 or firstname.lastname@example.org.