Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Haunted House (2013)(Minor Spoilers Review)

**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no character deaths, plot twists, or major reveals**

After a series of paranormal disturbances in their new home, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins) seek the help of Dan (David Koechner) and Bob (Dave Sheridan), a duo of brothers, who install security cameras for a living, while Dan tries to push a paranormal reality show at the same time, Chip (Nick Swardson), a psychic, Father Doug Williams (Cedric The Entertainer), and Malcolm‘s “gangster” cousin, Ray-Ray (Affion Crockett).

As a happy couple, Kisha and Malcolm are forced to deal with problems from the housekeeper, Rosa (Marlene Forte), and some awkward interruptions from Steve (Andrew Daly) and Jenny (Alanna Ubach), a swinging married couple. As time passes, it’s clear a malevolent entity is stalking Malcolm and Kisha, and moving into another house won’t solve the problem.

Whacky. That’s best word to describe the performances here. You’ll see a lot of whacky, and over the top silliness from the cast, but it’s a spoof horror comedy, so you have to expect that, I guess.

I know A Haunted House is supposed to be an over the top film, but overkill is a real problem here. A prime example is a lame running gag with Nick Swardson’s Chip and Malcolm. Every time the lights go out, there’s a panic in the dark. And when the lights pop on again, Chip is clinging to (or trying to) Malcolm in some random sexual position, because Chip is obviously attracted to Malcolm.

Although, A Haunted House deserves some credit for noticeable attention to detail spoofs. A Haunted House spoofs The Devil Inside, The Blair Witch Project, and Paranormal Activity. Paranormal Activity is the main story arc for the spoofs used in this film, and the noticeable effort to mimic the Paranormal films really surprised me. Trust me, A Haunted House isn’t a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll give credit where credit is due for the detailed step by step process of imitating other horror films. And kudos to A Haunted House for maintaining feelings of authenticity for the found-footage POV style throughout the movie.

Still, A Haunted House was too hit and miss for me. I won’t sit here and lie to you, because I DID laugh pretty hard a few times. But when the forty minute mark for A Haunted House rolled around, I was beyond burnt out on the goofy lunacy and constant barrage of slapstick gags. Although, if you’re looking for non-stop outrageousness, A Haunted House won’t disappoint you at all. There’s more than enough raunchy and vulgar humor, sex gags, and in-your-face buffoonery during the one hour and twenty-six minutes runtime.

Marlon Wayans returns to his Scary Movie roots with this horror spoof. And if you’re wondering, yes, A Haunted House is better than the neutered Scary Movie films (Scary Movie 3, 4, and 5), but in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a major accomplishment to brag about.

Rating: 4/10

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