Not even halfway through 2013 and there’s already been some abysmal cinema-released comedies. A-list Movie 43 kicked things off, followed by D-list Scary MoVie. Now there’s Z-list A Haunted House, effectively a direct rival to the Scary Movie franchise. Not surprisingly, it’s written by and starring Marlon Wayans, who just so happened to be in Scary Movie 1 and 2. Confused? You will be if you watch this; how it got made, how it was successful in the States, how there’s now a planned sequel…
It’s a parody horror flick, mainly spoofing Paranormal Activity, with bits of other films thrown in like The Devil Inside, [Rec] and The Last Exorcism, even going way back to where it all begin with found footage, The Blair Witch Project. Let’s face it, with that kind of line-up there’s not going to be much of a story (so no different from Paranormal Activity there then).
It starts with Malcolm (Wayans) filming the moment his girlfriend, Kisha (Essence Atkins), moves in. From then, things start to go bump in the night – literally – so they decide to bring in Dan the security man (David Koechner), Chip the Psychic (Nick Swardson) and Father Doug (Cedric the Entertainer), one after the other. When it transpires Kisha is possessed, they all inexplicably come together for a mash-up of horror endings.
As expected, it’s a series of crass and tasteless gags we’ve seen all before, recycled from the first two Scary Movies that were hit-and-miss to begin with, but with the hit ones now turned into misses. The jokes of stereotyping anything political incorrect, from the mentally-challenged redneck to the obligatory gay guy, tire as soon as you see the innuendos coming.
Wayans has thrown in a mixture of racist/homosexual/gangsta toilet humour and assume people will think whatever comes out will be funny. It’s unbelievable really, but with parodies such as these being cheap to produce and easy on the brain (slowly degenerating us into a nation of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy), they are not going to go away anytime soon.
A Haunted House is a mixture of the boring, annoying parts of the Paranormal Activities with the cutting room floor gags of the Scary Movies. If watching Wayans being violated by a ghost or in various sexual positions with a Ted-type soft toy sound hilarious to you, then there’s a chance you may enjoy this. However, it is more likely your time will feel violated after wasting it on such tired and crude comedy. You have been warned.
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