The Damned Story: As you may already know, The Haunting in Connecticut was recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray. “Based on true events,” it stars Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Amanda Crew and Elias Koteas.
According to the film’s promotional site:
Based on a chilling true story, Lionsgate’s THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT charts one family’s terrifying, real-life encounter with the dark forces of the supernatural. When the Campbell family moves to upstate Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlor where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner’s clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to crossover.
Now, unspeakable terror awaits when Jonah, the boy who communicated with the dead, returns to unleash a new kind of horror on the innocent and unsuspecting family.
In addition to an unrated version of the film itself, the two-disc special edition DVD also features commentary tracks by the director, producers, writers and cast, deleted scenes and a few pretty cool extras, including:
- “The Fear is Real,” a two-part documentary about the events surrounding the haunting featuring interviews with the real-life mother from the film, Carmen Snedeker Reed, two of her sons (conspicuously not the one who the film and case revolves around) and two of her nieces who stayed at the house, as well as real-life demonologists Lorraine Warren and John Zaffis. A few neighbors, friends and other people involved with the case are also interviewed.
- “Two Dead Boys,” a behind-the-scenes featurette with the cast and crew looking at the making of the film. Kind of standard interview and inside stuff, including interviews with the director, producers and actors.
- “Memento Mori,” a fascinating look at the creepy history of post-mortem photography, which was quite popular around the turn of the 20th century. Families would regularly pose for photos with the corpses of departed parents, children, friends and other relatives.
Oh, also on the DVD is an on-screen shout out to Damned Connecticut. (We’re famous!!!) It’s in the second part of the documentary, “The Fear is Real” near the end when they are talking about how the story has drawn interest in the local community. (Steve will be happy to come to your house to sign autographs …)
Our Damned Experience: We recently had a Damned Connecticut viewing party for the DVD, and as you might expect, really enjoyed the entire package. The entire DVD is put together quite well, and offers plenty for those who are interested in this film as well as the story behind it.
“The Fear is Real” documentary, in particular, is worth watching, but as mentioned, not hearing from the person who the whole haunting revolves around sort of is a glaring omission — was he unable to participate, or unwilling? Also, author of In a Dark Place (the book commissioned by The Warrens and The Snedekers to tell the story), Ray Garton declined to be interviewed for the documentary, even though they used his comments expressed on Damned Connecticut to fuel the debate. It’s also interesting to note that there seems to have been a falling out between Carmen Snedeker Reed and The Warrens somewhere along the way. The current residents of the house also declined to be interviewed for the documentary, releasing a statement to the effect that they have had no unusual experiences and that they would appreciate it if everyone would respect their privacy.
Obviously, The Haunting in Connecticut has been quite popular on this site — and of course, we’ve tried to provide extra information about it. A few things to check out if you haven’t already:
- Our exclusive interview with Ray Garton, author of In A Dark Place, which is billed as the “true” story behind the motion picture The Haunting in Connecticut, and who has been very vocal in his skepticism about the Snedekers’ and Warrens’ claims.
- Our interview with Daniel Farrands, the producer of The Haunting in Connecticut, who talks about the film, the documentary and his career in Hollywood.
- Our interview with Nancy Boucher, the sister of Allen Snedeker, who contacted us to provide her side of the story.
If You Rent It: As we’ve said previously, the film itself is standard horror film fare, with all sorts of terror-inducing scares and starts, and lots of creepy effects. Obviously, the producers used “Based on a true story” as a launching point, and have taken quite a bit of liberties with the story to make a compelling Hollywood movie.
Make sure to get the two-disc special edition version if you are interested in viewing all the extras we’ve mentioned.
Overall, if you enjoy horror films, there’s no reason why you won’t like The Haunting in Connecticut. Tell us what you think!