It can’t be an easy time to be an estate agent. Haunted house movies are everywhere right now, and they all follow the same formula: a family moves into their dream house, only to find it’s infested with evil spirits hell-bent on ruining their lives.
The awkwardly titled The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia is the latest in a long, long line of movies designed to put you off moving house ever again.
All of the women in the Wyrick family – mum Lisa (Abigail Spencer), daughter Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind) and aunt Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) – have the dubious gift of being able to communicate with the dead, so when they move into a creepy old house, all of the lurking nasties come out to play. While Lisa medicates her visions away, Joyce encourages Heidi to embrace hers, and soon the little girl finds herself being hounded by all sorts of restless spirits.
Though dad Andy (Chad Michael Murray) is mostly irrelevant to the plot, he gets all the best lines, and it’s refreshing to see a character in a horror movie who believes in the supernatural even if he can’t see it. All the groundwork for a solid (albeit generic) horror movie is laid early on; then, sadly, it’s abandoned in favour of a needlessly complicated story about taxidermy, buried treasure, and the Underground Railroad. Despite stopping just short of outright racism, the subplot about a pair of missing slaves feels distinctly exploitative.
Worse, the film takes a cavalier attitude to mental illness. In both cases, the script seems to feel it’s got something to say – it’s on the tip of its tongue, it’ll get there in a minute, if you just bear with it… but no, it never quite finds its voice. After a couple of over-worked set pieces, it meanders to an unsatisfying ending.
The best you could say for this movie, in the end, is that it does a really good job of demonstrating the importance of getting a proper survey done before buying an old house. Maybe it’s not all bad news for the real estate industry after all…