Director: Tom Elkins
Starring: Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff., Cicely Tyson. USA. 1h 40m
Originally this movie had nothing to do with the original Haunting In Connecticut and it really shows! Sadly Gold Circle, the studio behind both movies, decided to try and capitalize on the success of the first movie by bolting this on under the same title, the only connection is that both movies deal with “real life” hauntings.
When a young family move to a historic home in Georgia they begin to notice a few strange things going on, at first its nothing really shocking, maybe just the old house settling in, but when sighing corpses are seen under piles of leaves and the family being to see people appear and disappear they start to take note, but this isn’t anything new for Wyrick family as Lisa (Spencer) is a medium and actively tries to suppress her gift through drugs and sheer will, she also discourages her young daughter Heidi (Alyn Lind) to use her inherited gifts to protect her from the stress and fear of communicating with the dead.
When Lisa’s feisty sister Joyce (Shackhoff) turns up to see the new home, she (also a medium) notices that the lingering spirits cannot be ignored and that it’s vital for the family to be vigilant.. personally I’d just move again but that wouldn’t make a great movie now would it?
It’s no real mystery that the house has links to the underground railroad as it’s plastered all over the trailers but it becomes really messy when the twists and turns of what happened in the past are slowly played out through terrible sepia toned flashbacks. There are some lovely little jump scares and a few more scenes of brooding horror before it turns into total CGI effects. Elkins forte is with horror, after editing films such as White Noise 2 (2007), Annabelle (20147) and with Wrong turn : The Foundation on it’s way, there is no stopping him, but in the directors seat he does seem to struggle, as this film really doesn’t seem to want to get to the juicy bits and drags on so slowly between thrills highlighting the inane lives of whiny people, which leads to boredom more than building up to anything really scary.
The leads are irritable and flimsy, they spend so much time screaming and shrieking at their shadows that they are constantly on the verge of ruining all the big scares and at times the delivery is just totally off. Cicely Tyson turns up as a blind woman, Mama Kay (who is also a medium), which is proof that every woman in Georgia at this point in the movie is psychic..
For a film with such a noble concept that deals with dodgy business with the underground railroad and the ghosts still trying to seek justice, ghosts of freed slaved and oppressors alike, this could have been part of the gateway of Black cinema but it seems less concerned with educating and giving a voice to those who suffered but is totally focused on under whelming people while totally ignoring the slavery legacy. It feels as if it’s just another exploitation of history, why bring up such a painful issue and then treat it with such disrespect?
Related: Haunting In Connecticut (2009), The Conjuring (2013), The Amityville Horror (2005)
Lists: Haunted Houses
Spotlight: Cicely Tyson