out of Five
Running time: 86
This send up of the Paranormal Activity films provides a few laughs here and there, but for the most part its crude and clichéd script is ridiculously stupid, embarrassingly over the top and occasionally offensive.
What’s it all about?
Directed by Michael Tiddes, A Haunted House is a comedy spoof loosely based on Paranormal Activity and stars Marlon Wayans (who co-wrote the script with Rick Alvarez) as Malcolm, an affluent but childlike thirty-something, who’s just taken the plunge and let his girlfriend of two years, Keisha (Essence Atkins), move into his suburban Los Angeles home. Determined to capture their adventure on camera, Malcolm buys a camcorder to document their new life together, but when a series of paranormal events occur, Malcolm learns that the evil spirit that haunts and possesses the love of his life has also moved in. Determined to keep his relationship and sex life on track, Malcolm enlists the help of a priest, a psychic and a team of ghost-busters to banish the demonic ghost for good.
A Haunted House is actually not as bad as it looks, with the film surprisingly providing a handful of semi-amusing lines here and there. Although nowhere near as funny as it should be, it’s all very watchable and both Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins put in a satisfactory effort. Cedric the Entertainer as Father Williams is also suitably charismatic and thankfully at 86 minutes long, the film knows not to overstay its welcome.
On that note, there are so many things wrong with this film. Sometimes painfully unfunny, Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez’ script fails to do anything original with the whole spoof idea (after the monstrosity that was Scary Movie 5, do we really need another mundane parody film?) and so much of it is ridiculously stupid in its nature. In addition, Wayans and Alvarez tend to get too excited about certain jokes with some gags often going way too over the top (the list is endless but the scene where Malcolm freaks out at Keisha farting in her sleep quickly comes to mind). As if the screenplay couldn’t get any worse, it also shamefully displays hints of misogyny and homophobia.
Despite providing a (very small) handful of laughs, A Haunted House is yet another ridiculously stupid and occasionally offensive horror spoof that fails to think outside the box. Don’t rush to see it.
A Haunted House (15)