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July 8, 2015

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia

by Franz Patrick


Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, The (2013)
★ / ★★★★

Lisa (Abigail Spencer) is under medication for having visions of things that are not there. When she and her family move from Atlanta to Pine Mountain, Georgia, her daughter, Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind), begins to see ghostly figures and hear voices coming from an abandoned trailer next to their new home. When asked by her parents what bothers her, she claims that there is an old man named Mr. Gordy (Grant James) who says that there is a swing set in the woods and treasure hidden in the garden. Initially, Lisa and Andy (Chad Michael Murray) believe that their daughter has an imaginary friend, but it soon becomes increasingly difficult to deny the otherworldly elements lurking about their property.

I suppose credit must be given to the screenwriter, David Coggeshall, for actually attempting to write a story surrounding the supernatural events supposedly based on a true story. It could have been just another sequel with no interesting plot in its skeleton. However, “The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia” suffers from such an abysmal execution that the marrow in its bones is sucked dry prior to the halfway point.

The messy and sharp cuts accompanied by “scary” noises during the would-be disturbing encounter with the paranormal is a modern horror film trope that has been done too many times and too poorly. This one is no exception. There is nothing scary about the sudden appearing and disappearing of figures in a corner that inevitably lead to a jolt via the seer letting out a loud gasp signaling the end of the experience or a disruption of the trance when another person walks into a room. Together, this technique is utilized about half the time and it gets really tired by its third lazy effort.

It is not above using every trick in the book: voices of the dead, whispering of the wind, thick fog, doors opening ever so slowly, creaking of the wooden floors, appliances turning on suddenly—you name it, it is here. It might have worked once in a while if it had something original to contribute to the table. Alas, perhaps the most “intense” scene involves a character pulling out a needle and thread from her throat. I liked it better when a similar thing happened in Gore Verbinski’s “The Ring.”

Occasionally, dates appear at the bottom of the screen in order to establish an air of realism. Given that people claim that these events really happened to them, did they manage to keep a diary? None of the characters are shown to keep records of the events. Why are the dates even necessary when nothing particularly noteworthy happens most of the time? It just looks and feels silly, trying too hard to make something out of nothing.

Switching from regular colors to black and white to harsh sepia induces headache. Not only is it inconsistent in presentation, it takes away from the horror. Instead of giving us a chance to transfix on the images, the change in color demands that the entire screen be looked at rather than the centerpiece, why a character is left cowering in her shoes.

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