The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia starts off on a sour note just with an incredibly stupid title trying to draw in those fans of the original film. However, what makes even less sense is the filmmakers didn’t even bother to make a connection with the first movie.
Genre(s): Horror, Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 101 min. – $24.99 | April 16, 2013
Directed by: Tom Elkins
Writer(s): David Coggeshall (written by)
Cast: Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff, Emily Alyn Lind, Cicely Tyson
Theatrical Release Date: February 1, 2013 (limited)
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Theatrical Trailer, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
Warning: This review contains spoilers!
Yep, there’s that old phrase: “Based on the true story” which is displayed after the already absurd title, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, a title which was clearly done to sell fans of the original even though this story has absolutely nothing to do with that movie not to mention it’s in a completely different state, hell it’s not in the same region! What’s next? The Haunting in Connecticut 3: Spirits of Honolulu?
Like most “true story” films, this one takes on kernel of supposed truth and wildly expands it to fill 95-minutes of story. Ghosts of Georgia centers on the Wyrick family composed of father Andy (CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY), mother Lisa (ABIGAIL SPENCER) and young daughter Heidi (EMILY ALYN LIND) who decide to move out of the city and into a historic Georgian home abandoned two decades earlier and owned by the bank which is why the family were able to afford the estate.
Joining the family move is Lisa’s free-spirited sister, Joyce (KATEE SACKOFF) who doesn’t have a place to live but eventually convinces Andy to allow her to live on the property inside a dilapidated motor home which is a few yards away from the house. Somehow, when they were born, the ladies in the family had some kind of veil over their face and thus got some kind of sixth sense which, in the case of Lisa, was passed down to her daughter.
While Lisa attempts to quiet the voices and ghostly images using pills, young Heidi is beginning to also see spirits but unlike mom, she seems to accept it even when it scares her. See, Lisa consistently and constantly denies her visions even when those around her, living and dead, tell her she should let it in. Take a gander what will happen in the end? Anyway, Heidi begins to see people long since dead including a man named Mr. Gordy whom helps (by pointing to some buried money, which they promptly spend) and warns her family.
In any case, the story picks up with your usual jump scares, creaky doors, shadowy figures swooshing by the camera, and dead folks hauntingly walking past doorways. We also get nightmarish visions from both Lisa and Heidi. They also receive a visit from the local pastor who tells them the story of the estate once owned by the Gordy family and apparently during the 19th century, a man known as the Station Manager would help slaves passage to the north.
There’s more going on but basically the bulk of the movie is comprised of haunting images (go figure in a movie with “Haunting” in the title) as well as Lisa continually trying to keep her visions at bay and attempting to dissuade Heidi from believing what she’s seeing and hearing… all despite evidence to the contrary.
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is a repetitive movie and it’s just isn’t very scary. Sure, there are a few scary moments and some fine visual effects work done, but the editing in this movie is downright annoying where they (including the director who also was one of two editors) treat the audience like idiots and splicing in flashbacks to connect the (loose) dots even though, even if you only half paid attention, already was ahead of the game by at least 30-minutes.
Acting wise, I will say the cast wasn’t bad, although there was very little chemistry with any of them so they weren’t quite believable as a cohesive family. Thankfully, the young Emily Alyn Lind wasn’t overly precocious to the point of annoyance like so many others in cinema, but it was perplexing that she came across more mature and in tune than her own mother. Katee Sackoff stands out in a smaller role as the freethinking sister, Chad Michael Murray was OK in the fatherly role although his character isn’t smart enough to realize even malevolent spirits aren’t stopped by mere car door locks and of course there’s Abigail Spencer playing the mother who denies her gifts until the absolutely last moment.
At the very end of Ghosts of Georgia, the filmmakers attempt to tell audiences with actual photographs of Mr. Gordy, a young Heidi and the family today that this was indeed based on the true story, but similarly to Shadow People, it should be noted that while there’s a minute basis in reality, like anything in Hollywood it’s embellished to the nth degree.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Audio Commentary – Editor/Director Tom Elkins, Writer David Coggeshall and Co-Producer Brad Kessell provide an amiable track talking about \the screenplay, the production itself, casting and some bits of trivia about the location and other on-set stories. Although it is a bit on the paint-by-numbers side, at least, they are interesting to listen to.
Seeing Ghosts: The True Story of the Wyricks (10:18; HD) – This featurette delves into the “real” story of the family at focus in the movie featuring interviews with the the director, screenwriter and the family members. It’s an interesting watch certainly to hear on the basis of the characters, although it’s nothing profound.
Deleted Scenes (17:17; HD) includes thirteen scenes scrapped from the final cut including the original opening. These do include an optional commentary track.
Outtakes (3:59; HD) has some flubbed lines and set mishaps.
The Haunting in Connecticut Theatrical Trailer (2:27; HD) and the Ghosts of Georgia Theatrical Trailer (2:08; HD) are also included. There’s also an UltraViolet Digital Copy code.
Previews – Sinister, The Possession, The Last Exorcism
VIDEO – 4.5/5
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia jump scares and spooks its way onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a solid 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture here shows off some excellent detail levels, good dark levels which show minimal artifacting and the color array, mainly during the daylight, seems well balanced. It’s a good transfer all around and shows well even on the relatively small screen.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio provides for a fairly intense experience showcasing all the things that went bump in the night in this movie. The dialogue sounded nice and clear primarily through the center channel while the front and rear speakers come alive for the ambient and off-screen noises. Also, Michael Wandmacher’s creepy score helps set the mood.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia starts off on a sour note just with an incredibly stupid title trying to draw in those fans of the original film. However, what makes even less sense is the filmmakers didn’t even bother to make a connection with the first movie, heck a tentative connection would’ve been better than nothing. Outside of the title, though, the film has some decent moments but as a whole isn’t scary with the director relying too much on a “creepy” score and jump cuts, not to mention lazy flashbacks which seems to treat audiences with contempt. The Blu-ray at least has some OK features and the audio/video transfers look pretty good.