A rose is one thing; The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is quite another. The film isn't the worst horror in the world by far. However, the title is a disaster.
Like other recent horror sequels (ahem, Last Exorcism Part II), the title seems to be a marketing ploy rather than an indicator that the second Haunting in Connecticut is in any way similar to the first. The families in the films do not have a relationship to one another. It is not a continuation or retelling of the first story. They do not have the same director or writers. And, just as the idiotically contradictory title communicates, it’s not even set in freaking Connecticut. In fact, the only commonalities the movies share are:
- They feature a young family with at least one child.
- The family moves into a house with a mysterious, shady past.
- Supernatural forces lead the family to learn the house’s secrets.
- The stories are based on true events.
These (barring the true events stipulation) could be applied to any number of horror films: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Sinister, The Orphanage, and even the Lifetime movie Secrets in the Walls. Horror is a genre fueled by sequels, remakes and retellings – and that’s fine! Provided that the sequels relate in some specific way to one another and/or provide the same type of experience, I will gladly shell out to see Paranormal Activity 7 and Saw 19. But when you tack on a title and entice me to see a movie under false pretences I will become wise to your trickery.
With this said, Haunting 2 is a pretty decent flick. A young couple and their daughter, Heidi, move to a new house near Atlanta, Ga., where they slowly learn of the former owner’s semi-sinister involvement with the Underground Railroad.
In my mind, the American South is a perfect setting for horror. The remote, staunchly religious small towns evade the imaginations of born and bred Midwesterners such as myself, and it’s got its own mysterious history, especially as it relates to Civil War Era African-American culture and the slave trade. It’s unfamiliar, exciting and a little spooky.
The film gets off to a slow and somewhat labyrinthine start in which we are introduced to a menagerie of ominous spirits, but once we get past the halfway point we’re carried into a bygone world of long-hidden secrets and cruelty. The historical aspect injects the plot with heart, and makes us wonder how often things like this might’ve actually happened.
Production of a third instalment, The Haunting in New York, was confirmed in 2010. And that’s fine! But, for the love of all that is holy, let’s not call it The Haunting in Connecticut 3: Ghosts of Georgia 2: Spirits of New York. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but a film by any other name would not sound as ridiculous.