A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is a horror film that has nothing to do with 2009's The Haunting in Connecticut, other than the fact that they're both loosely based on "true stories." (In fact, this movie has nothing to do with Connecticut whatsoever.) It's low on gore, blood, and death, but there's lots of scary ghost imagery, including rotting faces, skeletons, and sudden jump-shocks. A small girl is in peril in a few scenes. Language is light, with a couple of uses of "s--t" and a few other words. Characters drink beer in a few scenes. Horror-crazy teens may want to see it, but it's unlikely to have much of a shelf life.
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What's the story?
In 1993, the Wyrick family -- mom Lisa (Abigail Spencer), dad Andy (Chad Michael Murray), 4-year-old Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind), and Lisa's sister, Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) -- moves from Atlanta, Georgia, to the rural Pine Mountain area. They discover that the house and land they've bought was once owned by the Gordy family, who operated an underground railroad and helped rescue escaped slaves. The women in the Wyrick family were born with "the veil," which means they're able to see ghosts. Unfortunately, strange things start happening, and these visions go into overdrive. Can the Wyrick family find out what strange events happened on their property before the ghosts get really angry?
Is it any good?
The first problem here is that this cliched film is desperately, obviously trying to create a franchise of "true" ghost stories. Oddly, this one has absolutely nothing to do with Connecticut (or anything else in the first film). But the main issue is that first-time director Tom Elkins -- an editor on the original film -- doesn't present the ghosts in an interesting or unique way.
Despite the allusions to America's slavery days, Elkins reverts to twitchy, black-and-white footage and jump cuts to depict the scary stuff that happens in the movie. It never seems relevant or fits in any way. Almost all of his spooky stuff has been done to death in many other films. On the plus side, Elkins creates some sympathetic characters and deals with issues like taking prescription pills to handle mental anguish. He also avoids too much blood, gore, and death, focusing mainly on primal, nightmarish scares, even if they're all dreadfully clichéd.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Haunting in Connecticut 2's violence. How much blood and gore is shown, as opposed to spooky ghost imagery? Which has more impact? Why? Are all of the scary scenes necessary to the story?
How clearly or in-depth does the movie discuss the concept of slavery in American history? Does the movie make you want to learn more about this subject?
- In theaters: February 1, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: April 16, 2013
- Cast: Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Emily Alyn Lind
- Director: Tom Elkins
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some disturbing horror content
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