Friday, October 3, 2014

October Horror Challenge #11 "Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia"

It just so happens  that when my brother and I were little kids, my mom told us stories about the "Underground Railroad," a system in place during times of slavery in the US where people who didn't agree with slavery would host safe houses and hiding places for slaves who were trying to escape slavery and reach freedom.  My brother and I thought this was a really cool part of history, because we always hear "well the government is corrupt, and there's nothing we can do to change it, so we have to wait until the old system is gone and new progressive people are in place, blah blah, but the thing is, there have always been people who fought against the system when the system was wrong, and change isn't ever going to happen until enough people want to change, right?  It seemed to make sense to an idealistic kid, and that spirit and those stories have stuck with me, and I only bring that up because it's just a fact of my life that I will always appreciate a movie more if it has some connection to something that's always meant a lot to me.  This movie isn't great or anything, and in fact it has a lot of flaws, but including the Underground Railroad in the plot ensured that I would be intrigued and would like the movie more than I might have under other circumstances.

This movie has nothing to do with "A Haunting in Connecticut," so calling it part 2 of that movie makes no damn sense and they should have just called it "Ghosts of Georgia," except not as many people would have seen it then because of the lack of name recognition.  The movie tells the story of a husband, wife, and young daughter who move into a house in a rural area in Georgia, and the daughter starts seeing and talking to "imaginary friends."  In the beginning of the movie, we see the wife dealing with visions of ghosts, so we know these aren't imaginary friends and are probably ghosts the daughter is seeing because she has the gift to communicate with ghosts like her mother.  The family discovers that their new home was once a stop on the Underground Railroad, and that many years ago, a brutal crime happened on the property, which might be the source of the ghostly activity.  There's more than meets the eye going on though, of course, and the mystery unravels as we watch the family start to fall apart.

The movie isn't bad, and some of the special effects are really cool, but the movie relies way too heavily on jump scares.  I say that because I usually jump at every jump scare, especially when I'm engrossed in the movie, but after awhile I just sat in stony silence glaring at the movie, wanting it to get on with the stupid plot instead of stopping every five minutes to throw something at the screen and yell "boo!"  If I stop jumping at your jump scares, you're using too many and they're not effective, so cut that shit out.  Plus while the acting is good, the characters do some of the stupidest things I've ever seen characters do in a horror movie, just to advance the plot, and improbable things happen, like the daughter is attacked and the wife has to go help her while the dad is off in Timbuktu or something because he disappears for no reason other than that it's convenient to the plot.  That grates on my nerves.  There's some cool effects and storytelling at the climax of the film though, and the denouement wraps everything up and reveals what happened to the "real people" this story was supposedly based on, so that was cool.  Overall this movie wasn't that great, but it held my interest and I wound up enjoying this anyway.

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