Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Film Review: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"There was a disappointing lack of suspense..."

The Wyrick family moves into an old house in the woods. However, their new home becomes horrifying as strange things occur to Lisa (Abigail Spencer) and Andy (Chad Michael Murray) Wyrick's daughter, Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind)...

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia continues to explain that Lisa, Heidi, and Joyce (Katee Sackhoff), Lisa's freeloading sister, are gifted. They can see what others cannot, like ghosts, I suppose. This idea really isn't explained or used properly, and it's unfortunately used as a crutch to move the broken story forward. Anyway, as it turns out, the Wyrick family moved into a home where slaves from the Underground Railroad where sheltered and Heidi can see them, as well as mysterious man named Mr. Gordy. It's a basic haunting film, though. The final act has some ill-fitted serial killer elements, but it features a solid twist and explanation, as well. Ultimately, the ending felt cliché, bloated, and underwhelming.

Ghosts of Georgia is a "sister film" (that's the first time I've heard the term, thanks Wikipedia) to the original The Haunting in Connecticut, but it really doesn't have any ties to that film. So, you can watch it without watching the first, you won't be lost or confused. The horror in this film consist of many jump-scares and some spooky visuals. A few jump-scares succeed, and I did enjoy some of the subtle and even the blatant visuals. There was a disappointing lack of suspense, though, which explain why many of the jump-scares don't work. It has a somewhat unique concept -- the idea of a gifted family -- but it is poorly executed, which leaves this film as another shallow haunted house clone. The first two acts move fast enough, but it loses steam and even identity during the final act.

The acting ranges from good to mediocre. Abigail Spencer is mediocre with an inconsistent performance, often under-and-overacting acting never hitting the mark. Katee Sackhoff comes off the same, as well annoying; I think her character was supposed to have some comic relief, but that failed. Chad Michael Murray is good with a controlled and consistent performance. The real surprise comes from Emily Alyn Lind who delivers a wide range of emotion and bring life to her character. The rest of the film is very basic -- the music, cinematography, and so on, are forgettable but competent. Tom Elkins' direction tells the story well, but fails to create suspense -- a vital part of the horror genre.

Overall, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is a decent horror film. It a few great scares, some spooky, spine-tingling visuals, and a unique concept. But, it fails to tell a unique story, use its idea wisely, and develop a tense or suspenseful atmosphere. The mixed acting doesn't help, either.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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