Review: The Haunting in Connecticut 2 – Ghosts of Georgia / Cert: 15 / Director: Tom Elkins / Screenplay: David Coggeshall / Starring: Chad Michael Murray, Abigail Spencer, Katee Sackhoff, Emily Alyn Lind / Release Date: Out Now
First up, don’t go in to Ghosts of Georgia expecting a direct sequel to 2009’s The Haunting in Connecticut. Both this movie and the ’09 film were developed from a trilogy of The Haunting in… documentaries, but that’s where the immediate association ends. Ghosts of Georgia focuses on a family that move to an apparent dream house in, if you hadn’t already guessed, Georgia. Andy (Murray) and Lisa (Spencer), along with daughter Heidi (Lind) and Lisa’s sister Joyce (Sackhoff) house themselves up in the lavish home and its idyllic charm. Of course, all is not as idyllic as it first appears.
It’s established early on that Lisa has an ability to see spirits, a power that she is taking medication to restrict. Similarly, her young daughter and sister have the same gift, which Joyce encourages the young Heidi to embrace. As ever, with great power comes great responsibility, and these viewers of all things spooky soon realise that the property and land they call home is stalked by the menacing visage of the previous owner and a slew of other spirits. The reasoning for this? In years gone by, the land housed an underground railroad that would allow slaves to escape to freedom during the Civil War. Through flashbacks, we find out that this process was overseen by a chap called the Station Master; an honourable taxidermy enthusiast. Upon being discovered as assisting in the break-out of slaves, the poor Station Master was brutally butchered and stuffed. Oh, the irony…
Ghosts of Georgia is a steady movie, although it often feels like it has a checklist of horror clichés to cross off. Squeaky old house with a troubled past? Creepy old man? A gaggle of twists and turns? All accounted for. Still, don’t be fooled by this, for Ghosts of Georgia does offer several unique and interesting plot points, and there are a couple of great performances tying the piece together.
Central to the story is young Heidi. Emily Alyn Lind really does hold the film together in a way not seen very often from someone of such a young age. Similarly, Chad Michael Murray does well as Andy, largely down to some great moments shared with Lind’s Heidi, although he does seem to spend far too much of the film pouting in a far-too-tight vest.
Surprisingly good, innovative effects add to Ghosts of Georgia’s charm but the movie is let down by some poor editing and dizzyingly quick cuts from Tom Elkins. The story is so-so but a few strong performances and some unique SFX work save Ghosts of Georgia from being pure fodder. A shame director Elkins seems to take pleasure in butchering his own movie, resulting in an effort that feels nothing more than ‘meh.’