Let us begin with the title, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. This film is set entirely in Georgia, not a second is spent in Connecticut, and has nothing to do with the original Haunting in Connecticut. The absurd title is simply a cash ploy to attach its name to a semi successful film from a couple of years prior.
I was not a fan of the earlier film feeling it wasted a good cast, led by Virginia Madsen, and did not deliver good scares. When I heard of the sequel I rolled my eyes and set my hopes lower than low. I did not much care to see it but I am a true horror fan and a lover of a good ghost story so I gave it a chance and trekked off to the theater.
The film is directed by first timer Tom Elkin and tells the story of a young family who moves into a house deep in the woods of Georgia that holds dark secrets. Soon after their arrival, their young daughter speaks of an old man named Mr. Gordy who hangs around outside and talks to the little girl, informing her it is not safe on the property.
The father, played by a miscast Chad Michael Murray, thinks his daughter is simply using her imagination but the mother, played with sincerity by Abigale Spencer of TV’s Mad Men, fears that her daughter may actually be seeing something/someone as she, along with her sister, have been able to see the other side since they were children.
The sister is played by Katee Sakhoff who played Starbuck in the brilliant SciFi series Battlestar Galactica. Sakhoff is a good actress who plays all of her roles with gusto and here she does solid work as a relationship inept woman who is looking for her place in the world. She is a good actress who is lingering in B movie land and deserves to be given bigger parts in better films.
The hauntings begin almost immediately and happen every few moments. Most of them are quite effective. There were more than a few shots of ghostly apparitions appearing in the dark woods or in the reflection of a window that gave me shivers. Those sequences were well handled and moved the film along when it began to drag.
I was enjoying the first half of the film and felt it to be superior to the first one. Then the bottom dropped out. The final 45 minutes of this film are so stupid that they negate any good that came before them.
At the halfway mark, Cicely Tyson shows up. She now looks as old as she did when she played Miss Jane Pitman only now no makeup is needed. She and her nephew spin the silly backstory of how this house and its property were once a stop on the Underground Railroad and how the former owner was a taxidermist who tired of animals and moved on to you know what. Now his spirit has risen as have the spirits of the vengeful slaves who fell prey to his horrors.
The explanation, laid out to the father by the nephew, is written and delivered as if it is from an old episode of Ironside where the villain is revealed in front of the entire courtroom.
As to the apparitions and their purpose, is Mr. Gordy trying to save the family? Then why does he just show himself to the little girl and never the mother or sister who also has the gift? Are the ghost slaves trying to hurt the family or help?
These questions are never answered as others are piled on. By the final act, we no longer care as too many annoyingly silly things begin to happen.
There is a preposterous and laughable scene in which Sakhoff is momentarily possessed and tortured by the ghost of the taxidermist. It is a moment of gore that is out of place here, as the film has steered clear of blood and given us gore free scares.
The film goes far with its jumbled and overcrowded plot but arrives nowhere. It runs out of ideas just as it was finding its footing.
From the dumb title to the astoundingly bad final half, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is a bad film. It is not garbage, as the first half has its merits, but it is a film I will soon forget and will never see again. The producers have announced the next film to be titled The Haunting in New York. For me, the “Haunting in” series stops here.