The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
The latest Hollywood ghost story is an unsubtle, underwhelming and anonymous effort
Horror films seem to go through cycles: in the 30s monster movies were all the rage, slashers ruled the 80s and right now we're neck deep in ghosts. The illogically titled The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (Georgia is over 800 miles from Connecticut, but the producers wanted at least some level of brand recognition and rejected the original title of The Haunting in Georgia) benefits from being the only major release horror movie this Hallowe'en weekend.
The young Wyrick family moves to the sticks, to a ramshackle but homely house in the woods, and literally within five minutes of arriving the females of the family are seeing apparitions. Their new home has a lot of history (and the obligatory dark secret), as it was once used by slaves as a stopping station, an apparently safe haven on their way to freedom in the north.
Ghosts of Georgia is based on a reputedly 'true' haunting, but that's about all it has in common with the first instalment. While you can't accuse the film of wasting any time – there's hardly any build up before we're straight into haunted house territory – it quickly plateaus: there's a complete lack of subtlety, with director Tom Elkins instead opting to bludgeon the audience with continual spooky visions, creepy noises and relentless jump scares and fake outs. None of the cast come off well either, although with Abigail Spencer and Katee Sackhoff have acquitted themselves much better in their TV roles (Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica respectively), at least some of this blame must also be laid at Elkins' door.
HiC2 is not a truly terrible film, just completely underwhelming and anonymous. It would have benefited from cutting at least 20 minutes from the flaccid, clichéd middle section (and it could certainly live without the final five minutes of syrupy smaltz). If this is anything to go by, let's hope we're coming to the end of Hollywood's obsession with ghosts. The repetition of themes and imagery has become monotonous whereas true horror is the fear of the unexpected.
Limited release from Thu 31 Oct.