New on Blu-ray from VVS films is the latest spoof film from Marlon Wayans, A Haunted House. The film marks Marlon’s first solo foray into the spoof film world without any of the rest of the infamous Wayans clan involved. Also responsible for the script, with writing partner Alvarez, the success, or failure, of the project lies solely with Marlon this time around. So will Marlon be able to do it on his own?
A Haunted House
Starring; Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte, David Koechner, Affion Crockett, Alanna Ubach, Nick Swardson, Andrew Daly, J.B. Smoove and Cedric the Entertainer
Written by Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez
Directed by Michael Tiddes
A send up of the “Paranormal Activity” movies, “The Devil Inside” and other ‘found footage’ movies, A Haunted House features young couple Malcolm (Wayans) and Kisha (Atkins) who have just moved into their dream house. As they settle in, they quickly find they’re not alone. Malcolm hires everyone from a priest to modern day ghostbusters to rid them of this unwelcome intruder, determined not to let the evil spirit ruin his relationship or, more importantly, his sex life.
A Haunted House sadly is an incredibly un-funny comedy with poor staging and set ups from recent films that have zero continuity and provide no context to Wayan’s supposed story. The film jumps sporadically from situation to situation with the first “Paranormal Activity” movie serving as the spine of the story, then shoving in references to films like “The Devil Inside”, “Blair Witch Project” and “The Last Exorcism” to name a few. The script even liberally rips off Wayan’s own “Scary Movie 2” with a sequence involving the paranormal rape of the two main characters that plays very similar to Tori Spelling’s from that film.
The performances are equally bad as Wayans is merely mugging for the camera; there is no distinguishing factor between this character and any other character he has ever played. Essence Atkins seems lost here as she is shuffled around the house and ends up having to put upon the other film references as her character is the one eventually possessed. She seemed to be prepared for a better movie but got stuck in this one. There are a lot of really poor supporting performances here as well, with the usually funny Nick Swardson, Cedric the Entertainer and Affion Crockett providing the biggest low lights, but nobody survives the film unscathed.
The Blu-ray comes with little to add to the package as there is a short featurette and a handful of trailers.
Unfortunately due to the economic benefits that come from shooting a found footage film, small crew with handheld cameras and minimal sets, A Haunted House has made enough money before its home video release to warrant a sequel that is currently in pre-production. That means we are set to see what is likely to be another unsuccessful and juvenile offering that will be just as underwhelming as the first.
1 out of 5 stars
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