Monday, March 30, 2009

Regional History? Maybe Not So Much..

A note to anyone making movies: If you want to lure in suckers like me, just add the "Based on a True Story" tag and I'm all yours.

I'm not much of a movie buff, and certainly not much of a horror movie buff, but when I saw the trailer for "The Haunting in Connecticut" I was definitely intrigued. I've seen enough History Channel and 48 Hours-type of specials on ghosts to have my curiosity piqued in the first place, but to know that something a) really happened, and b) happened right here in New England, I thought I'd check it out last night at the Lowell Showcase Cinema.

The movie was only so-so, but the entire time, the history dork in me (hey, the same one that drew me to a nearly two-hour presentation on Charles Herbert Allen earlier that day) stayed close to the story and everything going on in the hopes that future Google searches and Internet exploration would tell me more about the former mortuary in Southington, CT and the crazy necromancy that must have gone on there.

Not so much.

I've poked around a bit today during breaks from work to see what I could learn about the Snedekers' former house up near the Massachusetts border, and it looks like the movie used "based on" in the loosest sense possible.

I guess there's no quality control board that can determine what one person's definition of "based on" is, but from a marketing standpoint, it's genius. There's a huge allure I feel (hey, I can't be the only one) to something exciting that supposedly happened, where just another ho-hum teenagers-screaming-and-ghosts-slamming-doors horror movie wouldn't draw me away from whatever else I was doing.

Maybe I should've done that Google research before going to the theater, but maybe I subconsciously decided not to for fear of spoiling the fun ahead of time. Either way, my ten dollars and I have since parted.

What's that they say about fools?


Chris said...

That's a great point, G. I always take that phrase, "based on a true story" at face value, and I never realized how it really does increase my curiosity exponentially . . . just another example of how sophisticated and underhanded marketing has become in our society . . . ugghhhhh.

The New Englander said...


What's up mate? The worst part of it all is I know I'll be burnt again, because I still believe that the story about the crazy guy flashing his headlights to warn the girl about the other crazy guy in her car with the knife REALLY happened in our hometown.

I'm just waiting for the true story to come out in film form!