How do you follow up a debatably successful ghost movie about a supposed true story of a Connecticut’s family haunting? Well, if you’re Tom Elkins and David Coggeshall, the respective director and writer of The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, you come back strong with an unwieldy, strangely contradictory title and go at it.
Instead of finding another “true” tale of familial hauntings that happened within the confines of the Connecticut state line, Elkins and Coggeshall decided to have their ghost cake and eat it too, opting to keep their marketable “Haunting in Connecticut” title but placing the entire story in Georgia. Apparently, ghosts and producers don’t put high stock on geographical consistency.
Luckily though, just when the audience is about to come to terms with the quizzical title, the movie starts. That’s when the confusion, meandering, and general malaise of this film really takes hold. In a genre preloaded with eeriness and creepy visual possibilities, the makers of the film manage to strip all tension and logic from the plethora of haunted movie tropes and really focus in on exposition and the narrative equivalent of scorched earth. Instead of a slow build of creepy whilst letting the audience get to know the characters, we are introduced to ghosts from the first frames of the film. No dread, no intrigue, and definitely no scares.
You see, this family has the gift of “the veil”, not to be confused with “the shining” as they are trying really hard to avoid lawsuits, which allows them to see, communicate, and even be pushed about by the dead. The family members with “the veil” are made up of Heidi(Emily Alyn Lind) the young daughter of Lisa(Abigail Spencer) and Heidi’s aunt and Lisa’s sister Joyce(Katee Stackhoff). While Heidi and Joyce seem more than comfortable with their respective “veils” and the subsequent frolicking with ghosts, Lisa seems more intent on ignoring and subverting this gift with medication. That is the only real conflict of the film. It’s not wether this family is actually being haunted, or if they are ever in danger, it’s only a question of Lisa will get off the damn pills and do some ghost fighting.
This fact makes The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia feel less like a horror film and more like some quickly patched familial, coming of age story. A story that is choreographed and plotted out in such cliche patterns it never stood a chance of being interesting, with or without ghosts. Instead it only stands as a broad outline of a zygote of an idea that might have been interesting given the chance of several more rewrites and even the most general sense of narrative care.
The title of the film alone sends the message of a cash grab off of a known cinematic entity, and the script and direction does nothing to prove that message wrong. Even in the capitalistic land of film distribution, this film barely qualifies as a standalone movie. At best, it exists as a way for a production company to fill a release schedule hole, reminding horror fans everywhere that this is, in fact, a February release so we should just take it and thank them for it.