Why Haunting recalls
Amityville for star Elias Koteas
By Ian Spelling
Elias Koteas, who co-stars in the upcoming fact-based
supernatural horror film The Haunting in Connecticut,
told SCI FI Wire that many people are describing the
story as Poltergeist meets The Exorcist,
but that it reminds him more of The Amityville Horror.
"From my point of view, the film resembles something
that was shot in the '70s, perhaps," Koteas said in an
exclusive interview. "The storyline was palpable, and,
personally, it reminded me of The Amityville Horror.
The idea behind it seems possible. It just seems
possible that there could be trapped energy in a house
and forces somehow communicating through somebody who
might be close to death."
stars in the film as a dying priest who comes to the
assistance of the Campbell family—Virginia Madsen as the
mom and Kyle Gallner as her ailing son—who've moved into
a haunted house. And haunted it is: The house was once a
funeral parlor in which horrible things occurred.
SCI FI Wire spoke to Koteas (The Prophecy,
Skinwalkers) last week by telephone. Following are
edited excepts from our interview. The Haunting in
Connecticut opens on March 27.
You'd worked with Virginia Madsen on The
Prophecy. How did you enjoy working with her again
and with Kyle Gallner?
Koteas: I loved it. Virginia looks more
beautiful each year, and I just felt very at home with
her. Kyle, I thought, was so great. He's just a young
kid, and so in touch with himself. I wish I knew then,
at his age, what I know now. I think he's got a great
future ahead of him.
How complicated was the shooting of the exorcism
Koteas: It was very real and in the moment,
and you have to somehow create this. At least the scenes
I was involved in, we had to create the tension or fear
or suspense. Whatever else is in there, the plasma, that
was added later, and I wasn't a part of that. So it was
about creating the tension on the set, with the actors,
and that was very exciting. Everything else, the special
effects, the music, that's done later and adds to it.
You're always working and have racked up a really
interesting list of credits. You carry large roles in
small films and small roles in large films. You play
good guys and villains. If you were a star on the level
of Tom Cruise, do you think it'd be possible to maintain
the diversity of roles and films you've done?
Koteas: I wish I could play the everyman a
little bit more consistently. I find that I'm so quirky.
You've got to want my sort of energy in the film.
Listen, it's good for the soul to work, and sometimes
you hit it and sometimes you don't. Longevity is the
key. Just keep hanging in there, man.