Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)
The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia (2013)

First I almost gave a review on the wrong movie - An American Haunting - since all these damned movies have basically the same title. The review on THAT horrid thing (starring 
an out-of-place Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland) is coming up 'cause I watched it so... that's another 93 minutes of my time wasted, I might as well warn others.

'Cause this horrid theme is not over ladies and gentlemen... coming soon to take your money for absolutely no reason is The Haunting In New York. Yippee. The makers of these dumb things, Gold Circle Films, states that even though there are three of these (oh please make them stop) that each movie is a movie by itself and not a sequel to any of the others. <sputters> Then why... <points to second title> Don't you know it's not a Something Crappy 2 unless it's related to Something Crappy 1? <facepalm>

The Haunting In Connecticut: So here we go... The first one starts by showing what is called memorial photography, popular when families did not have access or funds to have a lot of family pictures, and the high mortality rate cutting down loved ones early in life. In the funeral parlor, it was a practice to dress up the deceased, sometimes in their best outfits, and 'pose' them with their families. That usually was the only family photo they had. 

It might seem weird and spooky to us, having instant digital access to every second of our lives, but to them it was an act of love. A collection of some of the photos from that period can be found in the book Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America, by Stanley Burns. If you want a copy, be prepared to shell out some big money - new copies can go for almost $500, or you may find one used for almost $400.

So this family's story goes as follows (and was admitted to be almost total bullsh** by an extended member of the family): Sara (Virginia Madsen) has a family and a son with cancer (played by Kyle Gallner, the unlucky teen in the no-body-shown Jennifer's Body) . The hospital she has to take him to is too far away so they take a cheap rental house nearer to it. As she and the sick son Matthew move in, he immediately has those 'corner of the eye' things where he sees shadows. 

She finds a bunch of pictures and thinks they're weird - that's when she discovers the place used to be a funeral parlor and the pictures left behind were of families using memorial photography. Duh. If they went to all the trouble why are the pictures still... uh... ya know, I just want this moment to be over don't you?

She tosses them out (I recognized several being copies from Mr. Burns' book). We get more shadows blah blah visions of blood blah blah nightmares blah blah... you've probably already seen at least 70 percent of this movie if you've ever watched ones like the Amityville 
Horror (which was also crap) or take your pick of any haunting movie. They're pretty much all the same - it's like they stole my horror worksheet to map them out (patent pending).

We get the sick kid going out of his head (Gee, couldn't be from all the radiation and drugs could it?) and the 'discovery' of a kid named Jonah who held seances in the place and... sigh. We get priests. We get nightmares. We get... bored. Supposedly Matt though is the center of it all, being personally bothered by 'Jonah'. See, all mortuary owners are evil. That's right - eeeeeeevil. So the former owner, Mr. Aickman didn't just bury everybody - nope he used some bodies for eeeeeeevil rituals. Sorry, every time I think of that word I'm channeling Ren from Ren and Stimpy. Eeeeeeevil. You eeeeeeediot. Ahem.

So throw in a priest or reverend or whatever the hell he was telling Matt to 'find out what the spirit wants'. Yeah, I can totally see a religious figure doing that. Oh, and no 'haunting' movie is complete(ly stupid) without the scene where all the furniture is in a big pile in the center of the room 'cause we all know that ghosts are just frustrated interior decorators who want things a certain way.

So how doe
s it end? How do any of these end? After enduring a whole movie of shadows, things moving but not, doors opening, dreams, priests, etc. we get the big confrontation where 'Jonah' who was apparently cremated by the spirits he pissed off, gets back at Aickman and frees his own spirit by having Matt burn the place down. And Matt dies.

Pfffft, you know that's not it. We get the moment when Matt's 'spirit' hears his mother's voice and he chooses his life of constant pain over what they believe to be an eternity of cloud sitting. Interesting how these people's version of heaven is a totally wonderful place that no one wants to go to. Right? Right?

Okay, how much was true and how much was Hollywood? Well, there's a Connecticut, that's real. There was a family that moved there, that was real. The boy was sick. They found old photos of dead people (well yeah, they'd be dead now, duh). The house was a mortuary. The son went through a personality change. Aaaaand of course the infamous Warren couple (Amityville Horror, The Conjuring) gave their two cents which others forcefully gave back to 'em. Other than that, total BS. But then we already knew that, didn't we?

The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia: Now remember, this is NOT a sequel and of course you know that Georgia is nowhere NEAR Connecticut. I admit I can be really sarcastic. And a bit of a bitch. But there are those reviewers that are much better than me, and I found a paragraph about this film that made me laugh until I peed myself a little. 

After cleaning up, I decided it was just too good not to share (and I hate putting it that way because that's usually what everybody says on Facebook when passing around a poster or inspirational crap you've already seen a hundred times). It's from a site I really like called Bloody Disgusting at http://bloody-disgusting.com (which says a lot about my character I guess) and it is as follows:

Reviewed by Patrick Cooper: I hope you’re sitting down, readers, because I have some bad news. The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia does not take place in Connecticut at all. Nor is it about ghosts named Georgia. It takes place in the state of Georgia, which is often called the “Connecticut of the South,” I think. The good news is that this will inevitably lead to a 50+ film franchise covering all of the states and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. QVC could even sell a giant, collector’s map of the U.S., like they did when the state quarters came out. 

That way fans could display their entire collection of The Haunting in Connecticut films, like Ghosts of North Dakota, which is often called the “Connecticut of the Dakotas,” I think. Unfortunately, the idea of this many Haunting films is scarier than anything you’ll find in Ghosts of Georgia.

Bwahahahahahaaaaa... oops, wet 'em. Be right back...

Okay, the story is this family moved to a house in Georgia and immediately their three year old daughter got an imaginary friend. We get the story that all the females in the family had 'veils' when they were born - a caul (piece of membrane) over their face. In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. In this movie, it means they have 'second sight'. Uh huh. Okay let's make this short and sour: The house and property were very familiar in the days of slavery and the owner of the house was a 'station master' for the underground railroad. 

Trouble was, some made it to keep going on, some disappeared. Did I mention this stationmaster was also a taxidermist? No? Well he was. And he decided that some of the runaways got to go through, others got stuffed. Literally. And set up in an underground shop like mannequins. Sheah right. 

So in a protracted movie full of nonsense, the spirits of the stuffed guys get to do the same to the spirit of the stationmaster (who the people had figured out he was a nasty one and hanged). With everybody free to, I dunno, do more cloud sitting as they believe, the scary stuff stopped and they lived in the house for years afterward.

How much was true? Well, there's a Georgia... do you really want me to continue? I thought not.