Last weekend, I went with some friends to see A Haunting in Connecticut, as part of an outing with Western Reserve Paranormal. Honestly, even after recovering from the shock of the $9.00 ticket, my hopes weren't too high that the film would be stupendous. From my experience, movies "based on real events" often end up being more fiction than non-fiction.
I can't go on endlessly about what a fantastic film it was. In my opinion (and I'm by no means some professional critic, nor anywhere near as bitter as most of those people), it was decent. By that, I mean I didn't walk away overly disappointed. It was better than the trainwreck I expected. It's not worthy of an Oscar, but it wasn't a waste of celluloid. Sure, it was very predictable and contrived in parts. Truth was stretched to incredible bounds to tell an enthusiastic, entertaining story. But that's Hollywood.
I have a difficult time dissing directors, filmmakers, and screenwriters simply because I understand the level of work going into a project. So, I have nothing negative to say about the overall product. They did a fair job on turning a true story into something screen-worthy. It won't be making my Top Ten Film list, but it's not lining my trash bin, either. I'd consider buying the DVD, which says enough that I thought it was crafted well. And I'm a sucker for Special Features that dig into the behind-the-scenes work and true story behind the film. If it has those things, I'll be in line for a copy for sure.
Before you criticize the film's expectable scares and altered reality, realize that to tell a story, even true events must be twisted to follow a plot line. Most movies follow a formula not because writers lack creativity, but because we expect films to be done in a certain manner. Anything else is avant garde. To propel a storyline, characters have to be created, changed, and fiddled with. A beginning and end must be formed, with the climactic scene being the pivot point. It's part of the storytelling process that has existed in human consciousness for thousands of years.
For anyone interested in creepy movies, I say it's worth at least a rental. But if you're a history lover like I am, set aside reality for a few hours and just enjoy the ride.