The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2014)

The eight-worded, oxymoronically titled The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is a slow, trudging supernatural story that pans out like a Discovery Channel docu-drama, only with added Sackoff. Even though it is not atrociously made and reasonably well acted, the lack of compelling story and serious lack of scares means there is little to recommend here.

Stop me if this sounds familiar: a family move into a creepy house in the woods only to discover it might be haunted by…

Yeah. Stop me. This is a tale as old as time. Family moves into a new home, discovers it’s haunted, realize it’s dangerous, need to work out the mystery blah blah blah. Sometimes this works magnificently, but other times it can feel trite and convoluted. This is one of those times.

The women of the Wyrick family are ‘sensitive’ to seeing spirits from the other side, so when daughter Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind) begins seeing someone around the property, her mum realizes this person might not actually be alive… and may want something from her daughter.

But wait, who’s also turned up unannounced, looking to move in with the family in their new scary home? Auntie Joyce of course! She’s wild, she’s carefree, she’s Katee Sackoff playing Katee Sackoff, just with a dodgy Georgian accent that wobbles more than the script… It’s okay though, she can move into the terrifying abandoned caravan on their property. Because that’s bound to work out.

This marks the feature debut of screenwriter David Coggeshall, known for his writing work on TV series Watch Over Me and Desire, but it shows there is a difficult transition from television to film. The script is bogged down with unforgivable ludicrousness, from the boring-as-crap opening (woman sitting on a bed, being a bit sad, sees a weird ghost in a corner) to the fact a family plagued by ghosts moves into a new home BEFORE checking to see if it’s haunted by… dozens of ghosts! That would probably be my first move…

The overriding problem with The Haunting in Connecticut 2 is that it’s simple not scary. Whereas many recent horror films that lack story, character or sense are sometimes saved by cheap, loud and startling jump scares (see Insidious for details), The Haunting in Connecticut 2 lacks any of those too. It tries, but something is off about Tom Elkins’ direction and the scares are weak and unsurprising.

This is Elkins’ directorial debut too, having worked as editor on the original Haunting in Connecticut (when it was actually in Connecticut!), White Noise 2: The Light and other slightly lacklustre horror movies. As a debut The Haunting in Connecticut 2 certainly isn’t an embarrassment, but the slow pace and irritating camerawork make it a dreary watch.

The Wyrick family’s ability / curse is also very poorly handled. Although they – like Haley Joel Osmond – can see dead people walking around like regular people, the ‘vision’ the Wyricks have is stuttering, blurry, black & white and – frankly – just bloody annoying. In The Sixth Sense it was terrifying because it seemed normal, but in The Haunting in Connecticut 2 it’s just confusing and poorly done.

On a totally separate note, although the title shouldn’t bother people, even an Englishman like me knows that Georgia and Connecticut are vastly different places, separated by about 800 miles, Virginia and some Carolinas… and it’s just a bit weird titling the film The Haunting in Connecticut 2. Why not “The Haunting in Georgia”? The problem with an oxymoronic and frustrating title, is that most audiences will go into this film not taking it seriously, which is a poor and unfortunate starting point… especially considering the film is very hard to recommend.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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