A HAUNTED HOUSE 2
zero stars (out of 5)
April 18, 2014
Marlon Wayans as MALCOLM
Jaime Pressly as MEGAN
Essence Atkins as KISHA
Gabriel Iglesias as MIGUEL
Missi Pyle as NOREEN
Ashley Rickards as BECKY
Studio: Open Road
Directed by: Michael Tiddes
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Sometimes miracles do happen, but they are not always a good thing. If you left “A Haunted House” last January wondering if it was even possible to make a worse film, you have an answer with “A Haunted House 2.” It is, indeed, a worse film in almost every conceivable way.
It’s an Easter miracle!
It used to be that spoof films had a certain degree of quality to them. Back in the day, we had Mel Brooks movies and later the “Airplane!” films. If you look at the exploded mine field of spoof movies today, you have to question what happened.
Even the Wayans’ films haven’t been terrible as a whole. But Marlon Wayans on his own has taken his family name lower than ever before… even lower than “White Chicks.”
In this nonsensical sequel, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) is moving in with his new girlfriend Megan (Jaime Pressly) and her two kids. However, the paranormal activity still seems to be happening to him. Featuring a Frankenstein plot that draws from “Sinister,” “The Possession” and “The Conjuring,” much of the film serves as an excuse for Wayans to mug at the camera like a crass eight-year-old who just discovered the FaceTime app on his cell phone.
It’s bad enough that these films (along with the truly dreadful “30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) are awful, uninspired spoofs. They’ve managed to take found footage, one of the worst “innovation” in recent decades, and mate them to form an abomination hybrid.
More over, “A Haunted House 2” can’t even keep true to its terrible found footage roots. Wayans takes time to explain how he put cameras all around the house, and we are reminded things are being filmed because of obvious timecode burned into the corner of the screen. However, half the time, I was left questioning who was actually filming certain shots and how (as well as why).
That’s not to say I’m overanalyzing a crappy spoof movie, but for things to actually be funny, you still have to follow the rules of the movie, or you’re just making stuff up as you move along. It’s okay to break the fourth wall and delve into absurdist meta-storytelling (probably best achieved by Mel Brooks in “Blazing Saddles”), but it has to have a purpose.
In a sense, Wayans and director Michael Tiddes just do whatever the hell they want with no internal explanation or connection to anything in the movie. These scenes don’t even serve a joke. They serve a hopeful laugh completely out of context.
The well is so dry for “A Haunted House 2” that we’re left with recycled jokes from the first film, including a painful amount of screen time devoted to Wayans having sex with the creepy puppet from “The Conjuring.” I swear, I could get a gym membership with this guy and see his naked ass fewer times in the locker room than I did in this movie.
I can’t say there aren’t one or two jokes that can make someone laugh, but as a whole, this movie is an utter failure that will mar the good name of the Wayans in comedy. It’s no surprise that, aside from some nepotistic casting of nephew Gregg Wayans in a walk-on role, Marlon is the only Wayans connected to this movie (and the previous one, for that matter). I have to imaging that older brother Keenen will bitch-slap Marlon at Thanksgiving dinner for taking the family’s comedy legacy from “In Living Color” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and reducing it to this garbage.