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(2009), PG-13 [Hardcore PG-3*] (1hr 37min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
August 23, 2009
Spetember 3, 2009

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2009), PG-13 [Hardcore PG-13*] ... the house has a history

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Gold Circle Films, Integrated Films & Management
Distribution (US): Lionsgate
Director(s): Peter Cornwell
Producer(s): Paul Brooks, Daniel Farrands, Brad Kessell, Phyllis Laing, Jeff Levine, Scott Niemeyer, Wendy Rhoads, Jonathan Shore, Dylan Tarason, Andrew Trapani, Norm Waitt, Steve Whitney
Written by: Adam Simon, Tim Metcalfe
Cinematography/Camera: Adam Swica
Music: Robert J. Kral
Film Editing: Tom Elkins
Casting: Eyde Belasco
Production Design: Alicia Keywan
Art Direction: Edward Bonutto
Viewed on Lionsgate Home Entertainment DVD

This analysis is sponsored by the generosity of E&HP.

I was quite surprised when all the number crunching was done that this film did not earn a hardcore R equivalence. But that is another testimony to the objectivity of the CAP analysis model. The CAP model is not vulnerable to the subjectivity of the one doing the analysis.

In accordance with the scoring ranges earned by films in the comparative baseline database of films The Haunting in Connecticut is actually G-equivalent in the Murder/Suicide (M) and PG-equivalent in Impudence/Hate (I), Sexual Immorality (S) and Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation areas. But it is truly hardcore R-equivalent in the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) and in Offense to God (O) investigation areas as shown by the zero out of 100 score in each of those investigation areas. The final score of 56 places the magnitude of influence of this film only two points above the scoring range earned by R-rated films (54 and below out of 100). Even the Influence Density (ID) of 2.64 supports the "R-ness" of the film. R-rated films in the comparative baseline database earned ID figures of 0.78 to 2.04.

That this film is revealed to be R-equivalent in one or more of the six investigation areas is one of the key features of the CAP analysis model. The prudent user realizes that if any one of the investigation areas earns an area score within the scoring range earned by R-rated films in the comparative baseline database (54 and below out of 100) then the entire film should be considered R-equivalent since one cannot view the film without being exposed to the part(s) of R-equivalent content. Further, some parents might feel that gratuitous violence is tolerable but any use of God's name in vain or any nudity and crude, lewd content are unacceptable. The detailed breakdown of the content by the six investigation areas plus the listings in the Findings/Scoring section gives the user every opportunity to avoid films with any content s/he feels is unacceptable. In addition, if a parent has watched a film s/he finds tolerable for his/her family and the CAP analysis of it revealed the content to earn a final score of, say, 94 with one investigation area score of 69, then that parent may rest assured the content of any other film earning the same or close to the same scoring distribution will be morally equivalent.

The great and unique features of the CAP analysis model go on even further. If you wish to know more about how to use the CAP analysis model, please click on the CAP Thermometers for this film to read about the techniques to help you be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether the content of a film is fit.

Now tell me, what other entertainment "review" service can give you that level of usable, informative comparative information about the content of a film? And how many others require the intense attention to detail afforded by 10 to 12 hours per report, built by 80 prescribed investigation standards and using more than 30 mathematical operations per report? Better yet tell me how many other services provide these features and are built on God's Word? The answer is none to all questions above. That is why the CAP Movie Ministry is the #1 Christian media analysis service on the planet. The CAP Movie Ministry is #1 if only because there are none others like it. Many have tried to duplicate our services but none have come close to providing the objectivity and consistency we provide let alone the numerous additional features. And yes, we came long before Screen-It and other so-called family review services which are entirely subjective and opinion-based, inherently lacking in consistency. Indeed, if I had kept historical records focused on revealing theft of copyrighted intellectual property rights I could prove that one of them has plagiarized the CAP Movie Ministry analysis model, building on our service as we published it. Fortunately, our investigation standards and the equations have been kept secret all this time so no one can fully duplicate our service no matter how much they "look like us."

In June 1987 the Campbells discover their oldest child Matt (Kyle Gallner) is dying of cancer. His mother Sara (Virginia Madsen), father Peter (Martin Donovan), younger brother Billy (Ty Wood) and cousins little Mary (Sophi Knight) and teen Wendy (Amanda Crew), a "built-in baby sitter", decide to move to Connecticut to be close to the only hospital that can effectively treat Matt's cancer.

Sara scouts ahead for a house to rent and finds that one in particular is a great deal. It is spacious and affordable and is close to the hospital. Being suspicious of such a great deal, Sara asks the renter, Mr. Sinclair (John B. Lowe) why, what's the catch? Sinclair, a nice guy willing to go out of his way to help, will only tell her the house "has a history."

Sara is the glue for the family. She and Peter also have a history - his history of alcoholic abuse. Peter seems to have licked his problem ... until pressures weakened him. He has to stay on the job weekdays, hours away and can be with his family only on weekends and the bills are financially crushing due to relocating his family to be near Matt. All this on top of the fact that his son is dying.

It isn't long before the family discovers the history of the house. Matt, though he avoids saying anything at the first and even lies about it, starts to see and hear things. Bumps in the night. Moaning. Faint screams.

Mat chose the basement of the house with a history as his bedroom. It is private so no one will hear his pain. And it is cool. But off his basement bedroom is another room with a locked door that neither he nor his dad could open ... for now. But after repeated attempts -- and permission by the spooks -- the door is opened and the family discovers the house used to be a funeral home. The room off of Matt's bed area was the embalming room with all sorts of flesh-carving tools and elevated table trays and more.

The family also discovers that a previous owner, Ramsey Aikman (John Bluethner) who was also a mortician in the 19th century collected 100 bodies from graves in the area. Grave robber Aikman experimented with the bodies. He discovered, according to the story, that using dead bodies amplified powers to communicate with the dead. Aikman's chief medium in communicating with the dead was young preteen (before death), Jonah (Erik J. Berg). It seems Jonah was ethereally connected with Matt and tried to communicate with Matt to warn him of the impending doom awaiting the Campbells.

Matt continues to suffer his nearness to death. This, according to the "based on a true story" story, is why Matt is to receptive to the efforts of the dead to communicate with the living. Those who are close to death are more likely to have special sensitivity with the dead which is why Matt was getting all the signals from the dead. This necro-sensitivity is true also for Reverend Popescu (Elias Koteas) who is also near death, also due to cancer. In the shadows of The Exorcist the reverend did his best to chase out the 100 spirits that haunt the house in Connecticut and terrorize the Campbell family.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
There are a great many instances of demonstrations of violence of varying intensity throughout most of the 97 minutes of this film. Examples include images of gore and death, the carving of text into cadavers, images of evil being vomited from a young boy's mouth, human eyelids being incised from bodies, graphic flash images of abusing corpses, smoldering bodies and dozens of bodies falling out from inside the walls of a burning house. Many of these scenes are presented in the explosive startle manner. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 76 out of 100
Most atypical of PG-13 films is there was but a singe use of profanity in the entire 97 minutes of the film. Nevertheless, once is once too often. [Col. 3:8] In addition to the single use of profanity the lies, the brutalization of a son by the father, the adult tantrum and the planning of sacrificial suicide led to the loss of nearly one quarter of the starting 100 pints in this investigation area. Lying. By His Word those of us who are not forgiven of our lying will spend our eternity in the lake of eternal fire. God does not like lying. Not even little white lies for when can you say a lie is not a lie? [Rev. 21:8]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 76 out of 100
The sexually immoral content is limited to the "lesser" matters which rely on suggestion and implication which can sometimes be more expressive than display. The "lesser" matters of sexually immoral content include exposure of below-navel skin (threatening exposure of that which follows), a very short dress with gamming (intentional display of upper legs and higher) and multiple views of a teen girl nude in a shower though no gender-specifics are clearly seen. Such displays and behavior in and as entertainment are clearly gratuitous and are clearly intended to add a little sex spice to the story. Nothing else. The entire story would not have lost any power if all of them were left out. The scene of the shower curtain attacking Amanda Crew could very easily have been some other device to achieve the scare. It is not God's wish for us to challenge sexual humility and modesty in any way. All that has happened that has made such displays and behaviors acceptable -- the sexual revolution -- is due to man. [1Cor. 12:23 - 24, 1 Thess. 4:1 - 5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 83 out of 100
Only one instance of drinking and one instance of violent drunkenness were noted. While it is not a sin to drink, it is sinful to get drunk OR to influence to abuse alcohol. [Eph. 5:18]

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
This film is saturated with matters of unholiness and evil. So much so that to even summarize them would take up too much space here. I ask that you refer to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section above, the heart of the CAP analysis model. Please remember that God has warned us in so many ways to keep evil out of our lives and minds: of such as that which is communicated by this film. Just one of them is 1 Cor. 15:33. Remember, a negative influence does not have to be real to influence negatively. [Deut. 18:10 - 12]

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
No murders or successful suicides were noted.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" it might seem, and its effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be a man or woman or child, the act of demonstrating violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health agencies to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • 1Cor. 12:23 - 24 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable [atimos: without honor, base, of less esteem], upon these we bestow more abundant honour [time: deference, reverence, special modesty]; and our uncomely [askemon: indecent, unseemly, unpresentable] parts have more abundant comeliness [eushemosune: decorum, modesty, charm or elegance of figure]. For our comely [euschemon: honorable, graceful, becoming modesty] parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour [plenty of modesty, e.g., clothing in this case] to that part which lacked [husterea: inferior, to suffer want (as in want of cover)]: [Jesus is using parable format to describe covering the "unpresentable" parts of the body with modesty by figuratively using both the body as a unit and a body as a group of individuals in harmonious unity.]
  • 1 Thess. 4:1 - 5 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: ["know how to possess his vessel" - be able control his body and drives; be master of them not slave to them: "in sanctification and honor" - of God's Will; "Not in the lust of concupiscence" - not in passionate lust like the heathen.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • Deut. 18:10 - 12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination [witchcraft], or an observer of times [soothsayer, sorceress, conjurer], or an enchanter [diviner, interprets omens], or a witch [one who practices sorcery, magical arts], 11 Or a charmer [user of magic charms, casts spells], or a consulter with familiar spirits [one who communicates with/invokes the dead], or a wizard [one who has a familiar spirit], or a necromancer [consulter of gods]. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. [God sounds so serious about embracing evil that it seems He would include embracing evil even in and as entertainment since it has been proven in so many ways that entertainment can and does influence deeply and contaminate values. Even God agrees with that. (see 1 Cor. 15:33).]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • images of gore and death, repeatedly
  • still photos of death, repeatedly
  • portrayal of intense misery and pain
  • text carved into and text being carved into the skin of a cadaver, repeatedly
  • gory portrayal of incising the eyelids off corpses
  • cartoon images of stabbing and killing
  • box of dried eyelids
  • flash images of abusing corpses
  • spooky sounds, repeatedly
  • long sequence of electrical chaos and additional electrical chaos
  • smoldering corpses, repeatedly
  • attack of a girl by a shower curtain
  • decayed dead bodies, repeatedly
  • piles of decayed dead bodies, repeatedly
  • flashes of evil, frequent
  • arson
  • attack by "living dead"
  • decayed bodies falling out of burning room walls and storage

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 76 out of 100
  • one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lies and lying, repeatedly
  • father brutalizing son
  • adult tantrum
  • planning suicide

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 76 out of 100
  • exposure to below navel skin, threatening to expose that which follows
  • very short dress with gamming
  • teen girl in the shower with repeated views

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 83 out of 100
  • drinking
  • violent drunkenness

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • nine uses of God's name in vain, all without the four letter expletive
  • threatening god in prayer "...or I'll n e v e r..."
  • unholy presences and appearances of varying intensities, frequent and throughout
  • evil being with grotesque screaming
  • unholy visions, repeatedly
  • unholy movement of inanimate objects, repeatedly
  • images of the past with acting out of evil deeds, repeatedly
  • ritual incantations
  • unexplained burn by turning door knob
  • gore caused by unholy beings
  • suggestions of unholy possessions, repeatedly
  • seances to communicate with the dead and embracing communicating with the dead, repeatedly
  • flashes of evil beings and evil deeds, repeatedly
  • mutterings of unholy behavior, e.g., "A deaf policeman hearing two dead boys, the deaf policeman killing the two dead boys" and "One bright day in the middle of the night two dead boys got up to fight", repeatedly
  • unholy gory appearances, repeatedly
  • mentor of evil
  • talk of unholy visions
  • using Bible passages to "explain" evil posture
  • images of death and gore and decay of human flesh, repeatedly
  • talk of evil beings being "around us all the time"
  • talk of "crossing over"
  • talk of evil wanting something from the living
  • telling God "You can't have my son"
  • evil trying to pull a little girl through broken floor boards
  • images of evil spewing from a young boys mouth, repeatedly, repeatedly
  • tale and embracement of communicating with the dead
  • spiritual medium
  • promotion of "ectoplasm" (mysterious protoplasmic substance streaming out of the body of mediums)
  • still photos of unholy behaviors and conditions
  • talk of necromancy (witchcraft, sorcery or black magic in general and communicating with the dead)
  • long discussion of evil magic and events
  • story of seeking and amplifying the power of a medium through the dead
  • the use of "Watchmen" to label a function of evil beings ("Watchman" in the Bible is one who is a "lookout" for evil - Ezek. 33:2 - 9)
  • long sequence of very intense unholy manifestations in a seance
  • portrayal of evil search for evil
  • portrayal that near death health enhances compatibility with the dead
  • communicating with the dead, repeatedly
  • unexplained, unholy manifestations throughout a house
  • repeating sequences of evil beings and manifestations of varying intensity
  • tale of the unholy controlling the living
  • appearance of many walking dead
  • evil manifesting as large text on the wall of a burning house
  • multiple scenes of many living dead
  • living dead evaporating into nothingness
  • seeing the dead
  • the dead appearing to the living
  • spooky sounds and flashes of gore and evil during the rolling credits

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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