Film Review: The Haunting In Connecticut 2

The Haunting in Connecticut 2

Horror movie The Haunting in Connecticut 2 offers a sense of trepidation rather than a torrent of scares. The usual haunted house traits are present, but the film does little beyond this.

A young family move into a historic home in Georgia. As they uncover the history of the area, they begin to realist that they are not alone…

The Hauthing in Connecticut 2 has nothing to do with its predecessor. It is not even set in Connecticut. Instead, the film follows the familiar haunted house pattern, based on an apparently true story. Rather than a direct sequel, The Haunting in Connecticut 2 tells a completely new story.

The film starts off fine, with the sixth sense of protagonist Lisa being revealed early on. The film has a bit of a lull in terms of momentum as the family learn more about their property, but this substituted with a sense of eeriness as the past is uncovered.

The most effective element of The Haunting in Connecticut 2 is the character of Heidi. Although young children frequently feature in supernatural films, Heidi is interesting as she is curious rather than frightened of the strange occurrences. There are a number of moments in the film which indicate a wisdom beyond her years.

The film makes the most of the supernatural gift of Lisa and others, exploiting the disjoint in attitude between the family members to create the circumstances of the finale. Unfortunately director Tom Elkins unleashes a familiar bag of tricks in the finale, which is not particularly memorable. In the lead up to this, the characters’ actions are typically inane.

Performances in the film are perfectly suitable. Emily Alyn Lind delivers a good performance as Heidi. Special effects appear a little hokey, but the setting works well.

The Haunting in Connecticut 2 bridges the subject of slavery without really knowing what to do with it. A rather run of the mill horror, and  unmemorable like its predecessor.

The Haunting in Connecticut 2 is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday 3rd March 2014.

Film Review: Insidious

People in horror movies never actually seem to watch horror movies themselves. Otherwise, they would know to scarper at the first sign of danger, unlike the protagonists in Insidious.

Josh, Renai and their three children move into a new home. Before they have finished unpacking, strange things start to occur. When the couple find their oldest son Dalton in an unexplained comatose state, they decide to pack up ad leave. Moving into a new home, the family find that whatever was previously haunting them has followed…

Insidious is a good schlock horror that provides a decent amount of frights for those who buy into it. Some elements are unsurprisingly silly; seemingly a prerequisite of the modern horror film. Nevertheless, Insidious is an effective possession movie overall.

Much is made in the film’s publicity of the fact that the makers of Saw and Paranormal Activity are at the helm. Creator of Saw James Wan directs and Leigh Whannell writes, while Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli is one of the film’s producers. Given the success of these two recent franchises, it is easy to see why they have been played up in the advertising for the film. Although it is most comparable to Paranormal Activity of the two, thankfully Insidious is its own movie. The film does not draw too heavily on previous haunting films, despite the inevitable comparisons to The Haunting in Connecticut and The Amityville Horror among others.

One of the best things about Insidious is that the film injects a healthy dose of humour into proceedings. The appearance of Specs and Tucker lighten the atmosphere at the right time. They relieve some of the tension and sombreness that had hitherto been building. Whilst Insidious is unlikely to rank alongside cult classic Evil Dead II with this mix of horror and comedy, this aspect does distinguish the film from being just another generic possession movie.

Certain scenes in the film evoke Ridley Scott’s Legend, with their polemical imagery and use of colour. The booming score is pivotal in enhancing the sense of apprehension. The use of a recurring vintage tune is reminiscent of the Halloween series and Jeepers Creepers in giving an innocuous song a more menacing turn. Effects are good, although there is one particular use of CGI that cheapens the look of the film.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are aptly cast as protagonists Josh and Renai. Ty Simpkins is believable as young Dalton, while Barbara Hershey is underused as Lorraine.

With its nods to numerous horror films, Insidious is a well-crafted movie that effectively delivers the scares. It’s not The Haunting, but should prove to be popular amongst horror aficionados.