Monday, January 11, 2016

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

The first Haunting in Connecticut movie was passable for an idiotic movie about ghosts. But then they decided to go and make a sequel, called The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. Literally any other movie could have been fine with that subtitle, but did you have to keep the Connecticut part? Why was this a sequel to Haunting in Connecticut? Was someone asleep when that title was green-lit? I was so fascinated by the insane brain mash of the title that I just had to check this movie out. That turned out to be a bad idea, because the lack of ideas in the title is reflected in the rest of the movie.

Director: Tom Elkins
Starring: Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray

Co-written with Michelle.

If you haven't seen the first movie, don't worry – just watch The Conjuring, and you'll know everything you need to know.

We start this one off with a woman sitting on a bed with a blank look on her face, popping back prescription pills like they're fucking candy. So, the audience for the movie.

Funny - that's how most look after FINISHING one of these films, not at the start!

This is actually our main character, though, and the movie decided to go instant clich̩ route by having her be some kind of pill addict, and so that's the reason nobody believes her! Plus, as an added lazy contrivance, it gives them plenty of hack-ass dialogue they can throw in about how she needs to get her shit straight! So they don't even have to try to make a likable or interesting character. This is all they need Рthe pill addiction. Fucking brilliant, I say.

She and her daughter, a blonde doll of a child with zero personality of her own, are going to move to some cabin out in the woods, or rather, a picturesque place only ever used for greeting cards and commercials that want to look all fake-folksy. Her husband is of course a Southern redneck cop, which means he looks like a magazine cover model who's never stepped outside in his life.

That little girl just realized what movie she's in. Poor thing.

Seriously, why do characters in these movies all look like they just came off a production line, airbrushed and blow-dried to perfection? That guy is supposed to be a police officer. But he looks like he spent his whole life to now locked in a room and never seeing the outside world, bred like some kind of show dog. I hate to break it to you, movie, but real rednecks look more like this very topical reference:

Am I trending yet? Sweet.

The story is full of clich̩ garbage, like the little girl and the mother constantly seeing ghosts that make the screen go all flickery and spastic, flashing to sepia tone or black and white for a few seconds. Because you know, it's only scary if the directing style reminds you of a bug light losing its power. Oh, and they all constantly pretend nothing is going on Рthey're just seeing things. At least, they do at first, until the police officer boyfriend finds a bunch of old coins buried in the ground that really prove it!

Yeah, apparently the whole thing is about them uncovering this historical mystery at the house they're at. The little girl keeps seeing the ghost of this old man named Mr. Gordy, who she seems afraid of. Logically, this means they don't fucking do a goddamned thing to take her away from there. Instead they just try to solve the mystery, even printing out a bunch of pictures and getting her to point out the one who she recognizes. Brace yourselves, the asshole detectives are on the case!

But hey, it's cool, they buy her a dog. So now everything's peachy.

The rest of the first act is taken up entirely by scenes of the mom and her redheaded hot sister, or whoever that's supposed to be, arguing about their past and whether or not the mom is abusing the pills like THEIR mom did before them. Since these characters are about as well written as a child's kindergarten doodles of characters from a bad TV show, these scenes are, how to put it delicately, completely ineffectual drivel.

Things get more serious, though, when the little girl falls into a hole in the ground that looks to be part of some underground network of caves. Police Officer GQ Cover saves her, pretty easily actually, and with no danger. Ohh yeah, horror movies, keep bringing the fear and tension! Then we get a scene where they all loudly debate whether or not the ghost is real, because that's a conversation people apparently have in the warped backwards reality of Haunting in Connecticut 2. Sure, go ahead and talk about that instead of moving the obviously in-danger young girl to some place where she's safe. Or doing anything else that makes sense or is actually interesting.

And make sure to talk about it with her right there in the room, because that's the ticket to making everything better. Just start saving up for her therapy bills right now.

Yeah, seems safe enough, let's stick around this wonderful place longer! After all, in this housing market, how can you tell when you'd get an opportunity like this again?

It turns out, I guess, that the whole thing is happening because Mr. Gordy's grandfather was this guy called the Station Master who used to help slaves, and as the characters veeeeeeerrrryyyyyy sloooooooowwwwlllyyyyyy find out, he actually kidnapped some of them and used them as human taxidermy experiments. This was apparently based on a real story, but here it's really not given any weight or importance, instead used as a hollow vehicle for more dumb schizo camera cuts.

Almost nothing of worth happens at all in the long, boring “final battle climax” scene that happens over the next 25 minutes of the movie. I would have said the scene where the aunt lady gets supernaturally stuffed...

Don't worry, she's inexplicably fine after this! Not a scratch on her!

...but she doesn't even die from that. Because this is a cushy world where no bad things happen, and not a horror movie or anything ghoulish or nasty like that.

The movie goes through an extremely shitty final battle sequence full of the movie's most schizo freak out camerawork yet, because we really need to see more of that, right? It's just so fucking trite, really. It's poised as this big battle between good and evil, something out of a children's storybook. Which makes sense, because the whole movie is about as childish a horror movie as any I've ever seen. Just go back and play with your coloring books and action figures, Haunting in Connecticut 2.

Then we get a ridiculous happy ending where everyone is alive without a scratch on them, frolicking in the beautiful picturesque scenery of the lakeside log cabin in bright daylight, like something the Teletubbies would find a bit too kitsch. Could you possibly wimp out any more, movie? We do get a scene of Mr. Gordy again, who it turns out was a good ghost, pushing the little girl on her bike! I'm so glad she's okay at least. And that now she knows the truth that there was nothing worse that ever happened to the slaves, before or after the historical events talked about in this movie.

Just wait until history class in a few years!

If AIDS cells could make a movie, this would be it. What hack work this is. There was nothing good or even tolerable about this movie, and it managed to be worse than most other movies exactly like this (The Conjuring, Dead Silence, any other James Wan-related movie) just out of sheer incompetency and ineptitude at telling a story. There's just so little self awareness about this, so little risk taken or interesting choices done with this story. Even if you like generic horror, it's rote, seen-it-before trash, charmless, gutless and witless. Fuck this movie.

Welcome to 2016, guys!

Images copyright of their original owners, we own none of them.