Friday, February 8, 2013

The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia (2013)

In 1993, the Wyrick family prepares to move into their new home, and Lisa Wyrick (Abigail Spencer) continues to fight a series of supernatural visions. The new home is in the backwoods of Georgia, and Lisa’s sister, Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) moves into the rundown trailer home in the front yard.

The Wyrick’s and Joyce don’t encounter any major problems at first, but when Lisa’s daughter, Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind) experiences her mother’s supernatural visions, the Wyricks and Joyce fear the worst. The situation becomes more complicated, when Heidi forms a bond with an imaginary friend named Mr. Gordy. After a visit from the local pastor, the Wyricks and Joyce learn the truth about the troubled past for their new house: the land surrounding the Wyrick’s home housed runaway slaves in an Underground Railroad station. Mr. Gordy was a real person, and a relative of Mr. Gordy was the Stationmaster. Mr. Gordy’s relative was an obsessive taxidermist, and he was murdered for protecting the runaway slaves.

Heidi’s father, Andy (Chad Michael Murray) is trying to keep the family together, and Joyce urges Heidi to embrace the family gift. Heidi’s visions are becoming more intense, and Lisa struggles to fight her addiction to anti-depressant pills. Through a series of dreams and visions, Heidi, Lisa, and Joyce slowly unravel the mystery of  Mr. Gordy, the taxidermist, and the history of the Underground Railroad station. The women uncover shocking secrets on their path to the truth, leading them to two questions: Was Mr. Gordy’s relative really a hero? Or was he hiding something unholy beneath the Underground Railroad station?

Very solid cast overall, and Abigail Spencer delivers the strongest performance here. Sackhoff is enjoyable as the eccentric freeloader, and Cicely Tyson’s brief cameo as the blind visitor is genuinely creepy.

I have no complaints about the acting, but the directing is a mess. Director Tom Elkins convulsive style turns Ghosts Of Georgia into a massive clusterfuck. And Elkins constant  usage of random flashbacks are really annoying. Throughout this film, flashbacks constantly pop into present settings at a hectic pace, and the overwhelming barrage of footage from the past almost gave me a headache. Plus, Lisa, Joyce, and Heidi’s sporadic sightings of dead people cause too many unintentional laughs.

I guess Elkins wanted to add more intensity to this film, but his unfocused style is too distracting. A prime example of Elkins’ style hurting Ghosts Of Georgia is the calamity of flashback footage and quick cutaways during a ridiculous and over the top exorcism scene.

Overkill is another problem here. When Heidi vomits maggots, worms, roaches, other insects, and some sort of sawdust-like material, it’s a repulsive and cringing sight…….after the first time. But Ghosts Of Georgia runs the uncontrollable vomiting stuff into the ground with Joyce, Heidi, and Lisa. The “dead people, who pop out of nowhere with an emotionless demeanor ” trick is good for a few jump scares at first, but this trick loses its shock factor after thirty minutes or so.

Apparently, Ghosts Of Georgia is loosely based on real life events, and you’ll see a photo of the real Wyrick family at the very end. Basing Ghosts Of Georgia on real life events probably provided strong feelings of realism for others, but it didn’t work for me. Sorry, but the wild and over the top conclusion was too far-fetched, and Elkins directing didn’t help anything. 

It’s a shame, because Ghosts Of Georgia has a very thought-provoking  premise, and Elkins style is annoying, but I’ll give him credit for a few jump scares. And Joyce’s stitch and needles scene is really gruesome and sickening. Still, Ghosts Of Georgia is a very boring film, the runtime really drags, and one hour and forty minutes feels like an eternity.

I won’t go on a rant about the senseless Georgia part of the title, but apparently, The Haunting In Connecticut is going to devolve into another shitty straight-to-video horror series. I’m pretty sure Ghosts Of Georgia doesn’t share any ties with the original film, because I honestly didn’t notice any key details from The Haunting In Connecticut. So I guess they’re taking the stand-alone route for the next set of films, and Gold Circle (the studio) already revealed the title for the new film: The Haunting In New York. I would give another Haunting film a chance, but I’m not happy about the choice for the new screenwriter. It’s Sean Hood, and for those of you, who don’t know, Hood is the same guy, who co-wrote the epic turd known as Halloween: Resurrection. Oh, and please don’t add Connecticut to the title again, because The Haunting In Connecticut 3: Ghosts Of New York just sounds silly.  

Final Rating: 3/10