The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. Straight from the title card, this movie is a mess.
A “sister” film to the moderately successful A Haunting in Connecticut has been in the works for a while [Editor's note: Once it was a directing vehicle for Ti West who bailed out.], debuting now four years after the original.
The movie tells the story of the Wyrick family, who move to a seemingly perfect little cabin tucked away in the backwoods of Southern Georgia. We quickly discover that Andy’s wife Lisa is in touch with the spiritual world, she possesses a ‘veil’, a gift that allows to her to interact and see with the other side. It seems that this gift is shared with her sister Joyce and passed along to her daughter Heidi, and because of it, they uncover a century old secret that unearths some ghostly presence as well.
The film is hard to get through, plain and simple. It clocks in at a hefty hour and forty plus minutes which is stretching it for any horror movie that isn’t based off a Stephen King novel. The scares are predictable, you can see them coming a mile away, and it’s almost impossible to not know what’s coming next. It’s as if director Tom Elkins read a “horror for dummies” and just plugged in all the cliches where needed. Behind every door or tree branch is a jump scare, all the windows constantly have ghosts skittering around the perimeters, faces contort, and ethereal whispers know no bounds in this film.
It’s strange, too, that Tom Elkins is a career long editor and this movie has some of the most scattered editing I’ve ever seen. Slow motion shots, rapid fire movement sequences, enough back and forth to make your eyes ache. It seems amateurish at it’s very best. The story plays out half National Geographic special, half Travel Channel ghost show, ripping the viewer away from the flow of the film with random amber and grayscale filters and a broken script that trips over itself a number of times.
That’s not to say that it has no redemption. The cast is solid. Chad Michael Murray (House of Wax), Abigail Spencer (Cowboys and Aliens) and fanboy dreamgirl Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) work the best they can with the script they have and they are believable and likeable. Emily Alyn Lind plays the part of Heidi, the daughter with a very powerful connection to the dead, and is able to carry the movie when she’s standing solo. Also, the special FX behind some of the more frightening elements, such as Sackhoff’s threaded hanging scene and the Stationmaster, are high caliber horror at it’s finest.
There is no way to turn this movie into an actually frightening horror flick. It plays way past it’s welcome point and even terrifying monster f/x can’t make up for calculable scares and a bogged down script. The direction is hectic and scatterbrained and the solid cast just can’t make up for it. From the absurd title to the out of character ending, this whole movie is just off balance and never hits its mark.