Directed by: Tom Elkins
Starring: Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff, Emily Alyn Lind, Cicely Tyson
Neoli’s Review: Scary, but with a purpose. This probably best sums ups The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, the horror film that lists two U.S. states in its title.
In the sequel, Lisa (Abigail Spencer of Cowboys and Aliens and Mad Men), her husband Andy (Chad Michael Murray of One Tree Hill fame), and their little daughter Heidi attempt to start a new life in a rural town in Georgia. Probably not the best move since if you’re running away from ghosts and other apparitions, a historical house in the middle of the woods isn’t likely to help your case. The fright begins when Heidi befriends a bearded old man in a tuxedo, which naturally alarms Lisa since there is no old man to be seen at all. Little girls who can see dead people—yes, it’s been done countless of times before, but fortunately The Haunting in Connecticut 2 has an adorable (and believable) child actress.
Apparently, the house they move into has a tragic past—like all other interesting history-rich houses in the horror films. It once belonged to a stationmaster, a man responsible for hiding and giving refuge to hundreds of African Americans who escaped from slavery in the early 18th century. But for some reason, the ghosts of that past are restless and crying for justice. Which is convenient since the family who moves in happens to have a mother, a sister, and the little daughter who are each in their own way sensitive to apparitions—it runs in the family. (The dad meanwhile, hunky and muscular as he is, is reduced to a mere extra in the film, whose only important moment includes digging up antique coins in the backyard and crashing his car.)
Horror is beautifully scattered all throughout—in gritty bits and pieces done through artful montage, MTV-style. Classic horror visuals are present in this film and will probably haunt you for a while if let them—an empty swing swinging by itself, worms and insects and sawdust being vomited, ghosts that get near your face, bathtub scenes, etc. Possibly, the only original image in the film was that of Lisa’s sister suspended on the ceiling with taut strings threaded through her mouth, while she’s locked in a near-death trance.
Once we learn that the ghosts haunting them are actually nice, old ghosts (including Lisa’s mother who gives advices all throughout) who are just determined on revenge upon their oppressor, the scare factor slightly dips down. After all, once you have ghosts on your side, what else is there to be scared of? But surprisingly, the directors still have something up their sleeve—something that involves a man in a burlap mask, taxidermy, and stuffed things.
Overall, The Haunting in Connecticut 2 gives an excellent scare while providing a bit of historical lesson that gives that scare a justified reason to exist. Probably the only disappointment in this sequel is that everything works out for the best and ends too happily for all its characters. But hey, not every horror film has to have a fresh body count, right?
Neoli’s Rating: 7/10