The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia DVD Review
Directed by Tom Elkins
Written by David Coggeshall
2013, Region 2 (PAL), 101 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 3rd March 2014
Abigail Spencer as Lisa Wyrick
Morgana Shaw as Lisa's Mother
Emily Alyn Lind as Heidi Wyrick
Chad Michael Murray as Andy Wyrick
Grant James as Mr. Gordy
Katee Sackhoff as Joyce
It says a lot for the quality of 2009’s The Haunting in Connecticut that I don’t remember a single thing about it. Bells were rung as I read the Wikipedia description in preparation for this sequel, but not to the extent that I can recall so much as one measly scene from the film. Still, I don’t remember it being specifically bad either, so there is that.
Fortunately, this sequel doesn’t require one to have seen the previous film, taking place as it does in a new home with a brand new story, family and ghosts therein. Most mystifying of all, it isn’t even set in Connecticut. One can only surmise that Ghosts of Georgia was conceived as a cheap cash-in to the reasonably popular Haunting in Connecticut - never mind the lack of actual Connecticut. At least there is a haunting, though, once again inspired by a ‘true story’.
The Wyrick family, led by wife Lisa (Abigail Spencer) and hubby Andy (Chad Michael Murray) relocate to a house in the woodlands of rural Georgia (not Connecticut), previously a staging post for slaves on the underground railway. All looks idyllic, but it’s not long before daughter Heidi is conversing with imaginary friends and seeing things that can’t quite be. As Lisa’s rebellious sister Joyce (Katee Sackhoff, one of the few actors in this film that I actually recognise) arrives on the scene, the family comes face-to-face with a great evil that threatens to consume them all.
A straight to DVD sequel to an unmemorable big screen release, with few recognisable actors and a confusing title, Ghosts of Georgia has its work cut out distinguishing itself from the rest of the chaff. The thing is, since 2009, we’ve had the likes of Insidious (plus sequel), Sinister and The Conjuring – slick, effective haunted house films that I actually remember watching. The latter bunch may have had their flaws (particularly the overrated Sinister) but the dry scarelessness of The Haunting in Connecticut just won’t cut it anymore. Tom Elikins’s sequel looks great and has an eerie Southern Gothic atmosphere to its credit, but very little else.
The clichés are there in spades – creepy child, imaginary friends and tricycle? Check. Scenes with a would-be exorcist? Check. Pensioner who seems to know more than she might be letting on? Also check. The cast is fine, but the uninspired material never gives any of them a chance to shine. Ghosts of Georgia, you could have been more imaginative with your haunting. Everything from a missing child to a scary bathtub scene is thrown at the wall, but very little – small child vomiting up maggots and cockroaches aside – sticks. The Southern fried setting and slavery flashbacks are a nice idea, but not used in enough depth as to make an impact. In the end, it all comes down to a scare-free climax set in a dingy tunnel full of CGI creepy crawlies and rubbish monsters.
Forgettable, predictable and unnecessary, Ghosts of Georgia is classily done, but lacking in originality. It makes for a passable night’s viewing, but you’ll never remember having watched it.
A second sequel to The Haunting in Connecticut is due to follow. It will be set in New York.
Video and Audio:
It looks and sounds good, even if it is too dark at times.
Seeing Ghosts: The True Story of the Wyricks tries to push the ‘true story’ angle, with testimonials and photos from the actual Wyrick family. Offset with clips from the movie, the featurette works better as a Most Haunted style documentary than it does a feature film. Deleted scenes and outtakes are also included. It’s all fun and games until the little girl gets stung by a bee.