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Its ridiculously awkward, franchise-motivated attempt of a title notwithstanding, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia actually offers some decent scares before descending into typical horror film bombast. Not bearing any connection whatsoever to the 2009 horror film starring Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan, this unassuming ghost story directed by Tom Elkins might well scare up some viewers on VOD and DVD if not in its limited theatrical release.
Set in, where else, Georgia, the film supposedly based on a true story concerns the travails of the Wyrick family, who have just moved to a historic country home that has a storied history as a former stopping point on the Underground Railroad. Unfortunately, the “gift” for seeing dead people possessed by mother Lisa (Abigail Spencer), her sister Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) and young daughter Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind) proves something of a drawback in their new environment.
Before too long, Heidi is being visited by an apparition of the home’s most recent owner whose intentions may or may not be malevolent. Various spooky encounters ensue, with macho husband Andy (Chad Michael Murray) desperately attempting to prevent his young daughter from falling victim to their unwanted spectral visitors’ machinations. A plot twist late in the film, revealing a more sinister aspect of the house’s past, results in the sort of hell breaking loose climax typical of such tales.
Marked by more reasonably intelligent dialogue and well-drawn characterizations than might be expected, the film also benefits from the solid performances by its extremely good looking adult leads and child actress Lind, the latter displaying an ability to convey intense fright in highly effective fashion. There’s also a moving cameo by the great Cicely Tyson as an elderly woman with a personal connection to the house.
Although its attempt to add socially conscious thematic heft to the storyline is more stilted than convincing, the relatively low-key Haunting is a marked relief from the gore-filled horror fare that usually litters up multiplexes.
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