BY MICHELLE MEDFORD
I love ghost stories. I love hearing them told, I love watching them re-enacted on TV, I love ghost hunting shows and I love paranormal movies. They creep me out by their nature alone but when told well, they’re even better.
I heard that they were planning on making a sequel to The Haunting in Connecticut a long time ago. Rumours began a few years ago and I was more than excited because I feel the original is one of the most underrated horror movie of recent times (seriously, 17% on Rotten Tomatoes is just ridiculous). The film is based on the TV show A Haunting, which features a different true ghost story re-enactment in each episode. Although I was peeved when they announced the new name (come on, we’re not so stupid that we wouldn’t realize the connection if they called it The Haunting in Georgia), my excitement was building. That is until they released the trailer, which looked extremely cheesy. It’s like someone thought, “We worked really hard to create The Haunting in Connecticut and turned it out with high production quality and good acting, but because of bad reviews, we can’t be bothered to try anymore. Let’s hurt ourselves even further by introducing some terrible and unnecessary effects, bad make-up and weak marketing.”
Now that that’s off my chest, let’s talk about the movie. You already know that it looks terrible visually but allow me to illustrate. When creepy stuff happens, the screen goes black and white and fuzzy, as if it’s supposed to be a vision of the past, except that it’s not. It completely detracts from all the suspense it was building until that point so when the scares happen, you’re not even really waiting on edge for them. The ghosts in the movie also look like people just dressed up in tattered old clothes and cheap make-up, which they probably are, but really shouldn’t seem that way.
On a positive note, the story is well-written. Of course, it’s taking a lot from a supposed true story, but it also expands on that story to create a much richer background and context. Our ghosts have a very specific and unique reason for their haunting and the mystery is well-paced.
Acting is also decent. I was surprised that Chad Michael Murray signed on for this movie, but when you look at his resume, he really hasn’t been doing anything of note since One Tree Hill. That’s not to say he was great in this movie, but he was alright. More worthy of mentioning is Abigail Spencer (who was also recently briefly in Oz), who was pretty convincing in all her terror.
I can’t say I recommend this movie because the visuals were just so distractingly jarring. Instead, all I can suggest is that we keep an eye out for more from this unknown writer David Coggeshall and that we hope the next series installment (The Haunting in New York) is given more effort. But who are we kidding, really?