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Haunted House, A (2013)

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A Haunted House (2013)Starring Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, David Koechner, Nick Swardson, Cedric the Entertainer

Directed by Michael Tiddes


Look, you probably already know where this is going to end up so let’s just not pull any punches- A Haunted House is pretty awful; a handful (and a small handful at that) of humorous moments simply cannot make up for the rest of the film’s running time, which varies from awkward to gross (and not in the good way either) to repetitive shtick to just outright dumb as hell.

Star Marlon Wayans (whom I happen to like as an actor) and the rest of the ensemble try their damnedest, but with a truly ridiculous “story” (even by spoof flick standards) and a myriad of forced jokes, A Haunted House is just a plain ol’ hot mess of a movie. It’s almost like director Wayans, his co-writer Rick Alvarez and director Michael Tiddes cherry-picked the most iconic moments from any found footage horror flick from the last five years and tried to make all those moments into one cohesive story, which of course just does not work.

For those of you who are interested in the story (probably not many of you), A Haunted House follows Malcolm (Wayans) and his girlfriend, Kisha (Atkins), who decide to move in together after dating for two years; of course, what Malcolm doesn’t know is that his girlfriend made a deal with a demon for a pair of killer shoes a few years back, and now he’s back to make good on that pact a la Paranormal Activity.

And just like in the PA flicks, Malcolm installs cameras throughout the house to investigate the demonic force, and well… get the idea. Fart jokes. Gay jokes. Racist jokes. It’s all in there. To the film’s credit, though, my eyes were opened to the world of Mandingo parties so there’s always that. But yeah, the jokes are rather repetitive and uninspired, save for a few of the quieter ones, which actually manage to be rather funny if you’re a fan of Left4Dead2 or The Entity.

I will admit that there is one moment that actually had me laughing out loud, but that was pretty much a rip-off (homage?) of a skit from Eddie Murphy’s Raw so beyond that A Haunted House fails to give its talented and usually humorous cast anything truly funny to do here. A total waste of talent all around.

Not that I was expecting too much, but A Haunted House is probably one of the more obvious horror spoofs in the last few years and makes the Scary Movie flicks (or the first two at least) look like Oscar bait. If spoof movies aren’t your cup of tea, then there’s little here for you, and for those of you who are fans, your patience will most likely start to wane after one of the other funny sequences in the film that involves Malcolm and Kisha getting stoned with their demonic visitor.

Yeah, as I said before- a total hot mess.

2 out of 5

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