A Haunted House Movie Review
Written by Karin Crighton
DVD released by Universal Studios
Directed by Michael Tiddes
Written by Marlon Wayans & Rick Alvarez
2013, 87 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on April 23rd, 2013
Marlon Wayans as Malcolm Johnson
Essence Atkins as Kisha
David Koechner as Dan the Security Man
Nick Swardson as Chip the Psychic
Cedric the Entertainer as Father Williams
A Haunted House, the latest release from the Wayans spoof movie franchise, parodies Paranormal Activity, Ghost Hunters, The Exorcist, scriptwriting, directing, acting, and most other aspects of filmmaking. I groaned more often than laughed and I must clarify that it wasn’t so much at the movie as it was the improv that occurs when funny people are placed in front of a running camera.
Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) is ready to commit to girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins), so he invites her to move into his gorgeous suburban house. Immediately upon arrival, bad stuff starts to happen: she wears sweatpants to bed, she leaves the bathroom door open, she kills the dog. You know, the stuff you imagine is going to happen when you move in together. Then the weird stuff starts. Naturally, a series of goofy experts (David Koechner, Nick Swardson, Cedric the Entertainer) are called in to try to fix the problem and only make it worse before a final showdown that changes Marlon and Kisha’s relationship forever.
Well...it’s certainly...a movie. Wayans and Alvarez draw from numerous films to create an extremely predictable low-brow comedy. There are plenty of funny moments, but that’s because Koechner, Swardson, and Cedric are damn funny on their own. The director of photography was particularly astute in filming them being themselves long after the scripted scene has been shot. Atkins is a great surprise; the camera captures her improved jokes beautifully and her ridiculous character becomes more likable the more of the actress we see. Wayans has his own moments; specifically one involving him demonstrating his romantic plans for the evening with a series of stuffed animals that will have you dying with laughter or in search of a therapist.
This is a tough call for me. I love spoofs; Airplane! is my favorite film of all time. On the other hand, if we don’t hold filmmakers to a higher standard this mindless drivel will be considered art by 2050. I don’t know. I guess if you’re stoned, drunk, and/or devastatingly bored watch it, but 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is funnier.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.