A Haunted House 2 (2014) / Comedy-Horror
MPAA Rated: R for crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violent images
Running Time: 87 min.
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Ashley Richards, Gabriel Iglesias, Cedric the Entertainer, Steele Stebbins, Missi Pyle, Affion Crockett, Essence Atkins, Rick Overton, Dave Sheridan
Director: Michael Tiddes
Screenplay: Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez
Review published April 20, 2014
Marlon Wayans (The Heat, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra) continues making his own horror-spoof series now that the Wayans' brothers have nothing to do with the Scary Movie franchise with the second installment of the A Haunted House series. If you've seen either A Haunted House or those earlier Scary Movies you know what to expect: a plethora of lewd and crude renditions of popular scenes based on notable horror film releases since the last flick. You know you're also going to see lots of Marlon's mugging face, gratuitous butt shots, and every, and I do mean every, bodily fluid get its own chance to appear sometime between the opening and closing credits.
Continuing shortly after where the first film left off, Malcolm Johnson now moves in with a new girlfriend, a single white mom named Megan (Pressly, I Love You Man), and her teenage daughter Becky (Richards, Awkward.) and younger son Wyatt (Stebbins). Despite his new surroundings, Malcolm finds that he is still being haunted by strange events.
A Haunted House 2 continues the Paranormal Activity found-footage gimmick, though that's not entirely accurate given that this footage isn't found, and many shots don't incorporate actual cameras (such as when Malcolm visits a church). Other than the PA series, most of the gags mainly involve The Conjuring, Insidious, Sinister, and The Possession, most of which are now a couple of years too old for anyone but the staunchest of horror movie fans to remember.
There's not much to say about A Haunted House 2 except that it recycles the exact same sex and racial humor from the first movie, except with new movies to inject them into. If you like the first flick, you're probably going to laugh here, and if you didn't, you won't. Marlon Wayans seems so desperate to find new laughs that he might actually have set a record for most time spent mugging for laughs in a film. In one meta moment of the film, Malcolm bemoans how much the new Scary Movie flicks suck without the Wayans. Given that neither of the A Haunted House films are better than the worst of the Scary Movie franchise, that's a gripe that is likely to fall on deaf ears.
As for me, I found most of the sex and spurned-lover scenes involving a slightly less ugly version of the possessed doll from The Conjuring amusing (though I do hope the doll is supposed to be "of age"), but it's a mostly tedious experience when the doll's not on the screen. It's pretty tasteless in nearly every respect, and perhaps a few too many gags involving brutality against women and animals for my personal funny bone. Eight minutes of funny material in an 87-minute movie is not a recipe for success. The worst part about the continued success of terrible horror movies in the theater is that terrible spoofs about them are not long in following. That's like getting a second kick to the groin just when you've managed to stand back on your feet again.
Unlike A Haunted House, which features over 2 1/2 minutes of unnecessary/deleted scenes during the end credits, this sequel does not (probably because they were all kept in the movie).
©2014 Vince Leo