Saturday, August 08, 2009

Movie night!

I did mean to work on photos today but somehow I ran out of time, so the next trip update has to wait until tomorrow. I've had a bad headache for the last few days and I slept all afternoon hoping it would go away. The headache is better but it's not gone and I very much hope that it leaves soon.

This evening we rented The Haunting in Connecticut. Although the movie didn't get great reviews, it is actually a pretty good psychological thriller. The movie tells the story of a family whose eldest son has cancer that rents a former funeral home on the cheap so that they can be close to the son's treatments. The son sees lots of things - seances, people, and that sort of thing - because he is so sick with his cancer and treatment, and soon the rest of the family sees things too. Eventually it turns out that the undertaker was involved in Dark Arts and stole some dead bodies to make his medium stronger during the seances. It's these dead bodies, and the spirit of the medium, that are causing the problems in the house.

As I say, the story is good; it's compelling and scary without relying too heavily on startling people. There are some startling moments, of course, but not all of the scary bits rely on it. The story also comes across as believable, requiring very little suspension of disbelief.

The movie is loosely based on a supposedly true story. There really was a son who had cancer, and the family really did rent a house (although not as nice as the house in the movie, which is gorgeous)... well, they rented part of a house; the former funeral home had been split into two apartments, and the family rented the lower half. Like others, I am skeptical of the original story; I don't know that it actually happened, that it wasn't just an opportunity for that family to make money and gain notoriety. For example, no one in the upper half of the house experienced anything unusual while the family was there. Fortunately, the story doesn't have to be true to enjoy the movie.

There are some interesting special features on the DVD or Blu-Ray. There's one about the original story (which highlights how odd these people were) and there's one on photographs of the dead which is interesting and informative. And creepy.

We highly recommend this movie if you like a good thriller. It's well worth the hour and a half or so.

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