A Haunted House: Grotesque Horror Parody
Cedric the EntertainerDave Sheridan...
In 1 Cinema
Funny man, Marlon Wayans – the same guy who brought us White Chicks, Little Man and the notorious horror comedy spoofs, Scary Movie I and II – takes another jab at pop culture parody in his latest undertaking, A Haunted House. Directed by Michael Tiddes and co-written by Rick Alvarez and the comedian himself, A Haunted House works, for the most part anyway.
With a camera in hand to record all aspects of his life, Malcolm (Wayans) is looking forward to welcoming his girlfriend Kisha (Atkins) to his suburban bachelor pad and is more than just excited about taking their relationship to the next level – hence the recording.
Not long after, peculiar things start to happen; unexplained noises, doors opening by themselves, et al. This ultimately begins affecting the couple’s sex life – which in Malcolm’s mind is the biggest problem of all.
Unable to sell the house, Malcolm seeks help from Dan the security man (Koechner), Chip the gay psychic (Swardson) and Samuel L. Jackson-quoting priest, Father Williams (Cedric the Entertainer). However, the group quickly learns that cleansing the house of evil spirits is much easier in theory than in practice.
A Haunted House gives us the first-person experience the whole way through. Poking fun at the Paranormal Activity series, as well as 2012 futile horror flick, The Devil Inside, this is a film that finds itself somewhere in between utterly hilarious and totally absurd. Moviegoers know what they’re in for with parodies such as these and as expected, the fart, sex and weed jokes are still very much the foundation.
However, if you’re able to look past its ridiculous, and sometimes grotesque, setup you will find some genuine humour and commendable writing, from both Alvarez and Wayans, which push the boundaries of joke-telling through the roof.
Holding the ship from sinking are its two lead characters; Wayans and Atkins make a good match and share an undeniable on-screen energy. Both are equally responsible for delivering some of the more deserving laugh out loud moments while the supporting cast deliver perfromances that, even by Wayans’ standards, are way too over-the-top.
Silly, hilarious and grotesque at the same time, A Haunted House is definitely not for everyone. If you’re in the mood for some mindless entertainment and you appreciate the in-your-face joke telling, then A Haunted House is a safe bet.