Let’s not understand geography.
The haunting in Connecticut—Georgia. Connecticut—Georgia. Connectorgia?
I remember laughing at the title for this one when it originally came out, but let’s actually unpack this: the original Haunting in Connecticut was supposed to be a franchise. Who would think this and why are important questions to ask. The original film, while serviceable as a popcorn-scare for teenagers certainly didn’t leave many lasting impressions.
However, this film seems to be in no way connected to the original. What probably happened is they slapped the name on this to create hype around what they knew was a pile of crap film.
We follow a family as they move into the country and weird stuff starts happening. But, wait, there’s more. The mother, Lisa sees ghosts and doesn’t want to, as does her sister Joyce. They were born with a veil (whatever the hell that means) and now they can see ghosts. It seems like Lisa’s daughter Heidi can also see ghosts now, but who cares?
The change in setting isn’t what starts the haunting, so this isn’t really a traditional haunted house fair—though it seems the film forgets this at certain points. As Heidi begins chatting with a new invisible friend, the parents must now figure out what is happening.
This is standard horror crap through and through. Exhausting tropes and clichés are thrown into the mix like someone carelessly checking off boxes. The story is so unengaging that I found aspects of it hard to follow. The plot holes and leaps of logic are mind numbing.
Yet, despite all of these flaws in the script itself, the characters are what truly destroy this film. Well, that and the directing… and the music. Okay, everything sucks. Is that a clear topic sentence? It is hard to pinpoint exactly what is awful in certain scenes because none of it works. We have a sappy soundtrack that should have been thrown out wholesale. The film would have been better with no music if this was their choice. The directing is shot in washed out lighting when outside, which I think they meant to give it a dreamlike feel, but it just ends up looking like a Hallmark film. The visual feeling of horror is so fleeting here that it seems like they didn’t care or weren’t sure of what type of film they were making.
Wow, that whole paragraph didn’t even get to the characters. Lisa and Joyce have a tense relationship, in large part due to Lisa’s husband Andy not liking Joyce and seeing her as a freeloader. Does the freeloading aunt matter to the story? Or perhaps better asked: does the fact that she is a freeloader matter to the story? The answer is no. This is forced conflict on the part of the writers because they couldn’t come up with characterizations strong enough to stand without being in constant conflict with one another.
A wonderful example is that Lisa thinks it must be Joyce’s influence that is causing Heidi to see ghosts. Never mind us the fact that Lisa can literally see ghosts and has since she was younger also. Noooooo, it must be Joyce’s fault, let’s spend too much time on this crap.
When I am dying, I am going to regret watching this film. I will want these precious moments back to do something more exciting, like clip my toenails.
Current horror films try to shovel in a social message on contemporary issues. When this one came out (I’m not writing out the title again) the theme was to try to establish a long history of the location and examine issues historically. (Winchester is a good example of a film doing this, despite being more recent. These are general trends, not hard rules). The home they purchased is on the Underground Railroad and they did not know this. I wanted to raise my hand and ask “S’cuse me, aren’t these buildings under different coding due to being historic artifacts?” Even if they aren’t, the odds of someone buying a home without knowing this major detail seemed kind of crappy.
So much of the information in this film comes out of order that I wonder what the editing process looked like. Further, we get weird scenes that feel different from those surrounding it to add in pointless jump scares. Within five minutes we have our first jump scare and they never stop, nor do they ever work.
In the end, this is corporate made horror crap of a bygone era. With the release of Insidious, a new level was reached for mainstream horror that this one fails to capture at all. If this released in 2000 not 2013, I think it would have done a little better, but still would have bored the audience to tears.
This film isn’t worth the time to even mock.