Film review: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (15, 112 min)

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Should have been a DVD

Tom Elkins returns to the director’s chair for this lacklustre companion piece to his 2009 supernatural horror, which chronicled the true story of one family’s brush with malevolent forces. The Haunting In Connecticut 2 also relies on spooky documented fact, relating the ghoulish goings-on in a station master’s house in Pine Mountain, Georgia, as seen through the eyes of two women and a little girl, who are cursed with the ability to see ghosts.

David Coggeshall’s script trades in hoary cliches.

When the winsome child stares at her ramshackle home and asks, “Who lived here before?” and her mother cheerfully replies, “Nobody honey. That’s why the bank gave us such a good deal,” the stench of impending doom is overpowering. Banks offer good deals when properties conceal dark, dangerous secrets.

When the same laughably naive parent ignores her daughter’s tearful pleas to move house - “The bad man saw me. Now he’s coming...” - we count down the tedious minutes before demonic spectres hold the girl hostage.

Mild scares, which take the form of shadowy figures moving unseen behind protagonists, are repetitive and unlikely to jolt audiences out of a soporific stupor.

It’s June 1993 and Lisa Wyrick (Abigail Spencer) and her husband Andy (Chad Michael Murray) move into a remote house with their cherubic daughter, Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind).

Lisa’s no-good sister Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) arrives soon after, looking for a place to live after her romance with an alcoholic married man turns sour.

Joyce takes up residence in an old trailer close to the house and helps Heidi to make sense of strange visions. “You were born with a veil,” Joyce tells her cherubic niece, “It means that sometimes you can sense things other people can’t.”

The ‘things’ in question are the house’s previous owner, Mr Gordy (Grant James), and the spirits of slaves, who were hidden from harm in an underground railroad that runs beneath the property.

A visit from a local holy man (Lance E Nichols) and a blind lady (Cicely Tyson) tip us off that something wicked festers in the subterranean gloom and when little Heidi tumbles down a hole, the evil is unleashed.

Ghosts Of Georgia should have been exorcised straight to DVD rather than haunting multiplexes.

“Your momma gets feelings she doesn’t much care for,” Joyce tells Heidi at one point.

We feel the same about Elkins’s film.

Horror/Thriller. Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Emily Alyn Lind, Katee Sackhoff, Morgana Shaw, Lance E Nichols, Cicely Tyson, Brad James, Grant James. Director: Tom Elkins.