Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In short: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

There’s actually a fine Southern Gothic ghost story with many a creepy idea hidden inside Tom Elkins’s film just burning to get out. All the elements are there after all: a family whose female members all have the ability to see ghosts, a house in the woods in Georgia with a dark secret connected to its past as a station of the Underground Railroad, and more ghosts than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately, it also has no idea how to treat these elements properly and not end up with what plays out like a somewhat more brutal episode of one of those TV shows about people talking to ghosts and fixing their problems so they can move on (like crap occult detectives who nearly never actually meet frightening ghosts, come to think of it).

Unfortunately, even if the script did better, it all would still come to naught thanks to the most generic Insidious “inspired” modern mainstream horror direction imaginable, so it’s a film that mostly consists of clichéd “character moments” that have little to with people or the idea of actual people (despite Abigail Spencer and Katee Sackhoff trying their best to pretend they are in fact playing human beings), and the kind of horror scenes that just can’t imagine to use anything other than whoosh cuts, flash cuts, random inserts of the moon, lots of flickering for no reason, and many a stupid noise on the soundtrack that’s pretty much the opposite of sound design.

It’s a bit as if the supernatural menace here were a chap trying to try out all the effects of his cheap new digital editing suite; not surprisingly, the resulting scenes of horror are ineffective, generally annoying and even a bit depressing because it’s oh so easy to imagine what people who actually knew what they were doing could achieve with some of the film’s basic ideas. Unfortunately, we end up with a cheap house of horror ride that doesn’t even work as one. Though I have to give The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia props for the gnomic paradox of its title.

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