A Haunting in CT 2 – Reviewed and rated 1/2 of 4 Reagans
Mandeville, LA – The new out on video film, A Haunting In CT, 2 is billed as a horror movie with a supernatural flavor, think Paranormal Activity. After watching the film I place it as more of a special effects bonanza without the realistic feel of any of the Paranormal features. The story is loosely based on the real-life experience of Heidi Wyrick. In real-life Wyrick claimed she was visited by by a Mr. Gordy from the time she was 3 until she was 8.
If the film-makers would have stuck with the real-life story as detailed in The Veil-The Heidi Wyrick Story the film may have had an appeal to it beyond the utter cuteness of its feature character, played by Emily Alan Lind. By the time you have watched 15 minutes of the film you will have become accustomed to expecting the sound of things to precede the sight of things. So over bearing is the sound effect design that it begins taking away from the story. There are only so many times in one film that a violin strike or string glissade can have impact that limit is reached early on and the sound becomes a crutch.
We find out in the first act that Mr. Gordy used to live on the property Heidi’s family has moved to. The old man seems harmless, appearing in a black suit & tie with a black fedora, mostly as a live action character as opposed to one CGI generated. Mr. Gordy tells Heidi secrets about the property, like where he buried his collection of Liberty dollars but his warnings become ominous when he tells Heidi that “a dark man” is coming and he is not nice. A subplot is the drawn out and under utilized story of Levi & Ely, a slave couple that were saved by a former owner “The Station Master” who ran an outpost connected to the underground railroad of the 1850’s and 60’s. Cicely Tyson makes a guest appearance that serves to setup another slight plot twist involving Levi & Ely. It is here that the filmmakers turn the story into one that is politically correct but not so scary. Giving the entire story away would spoil the film’s ending but I think you’ll conclude that the cheese factor was exceeded here. Haunting’s director Tom Elkins was promoted by the film studio from editing to directing, Elkin’s editing skills are apparent in the frenetic use of jump cuts made to accent the fear factor and that’s what is so annoying about Haunting.
The story/material Elkins had to work with was ripe for an enjoyable fright fest but the film’s fear factor is all manufactured by the sound and editing effects. If you’re looking for a fright fest, you won’t find it here, if you’re looking for an effects laden way to spend 2 hours of movie watching, you (ladies) might enjoy Chad Michael Murray’s chiseled physique or (men) Abigail Spencer’s petite frame but I doubt you’ll be checking under your bed for “the taxidermist”.