A Haunted House brings a spoof of Wayans' proportions to the Paranormal Activity movies... and even a little bit of The Devil Inside. Marlon Wayans, with his writing partner Rick Alvarez, has brought to this film decades of comedic experience honed by a family possessing a sense of humor that is unrivaled in Hollywood. In the family's latest effort, Marlon has painted a picture of possession that does one thing well... it knows horror and how to lampoon it.
Unfortunately, more often than not, the film simply goes too far and doesn't know when to rein it in. But, our A Haunted House review finds that fans of the Wayans' brand of haunted humor will absolutely delight in their latest. There is a sense of awareness of not only their genre, but also the ones that they are crafting laughs from in how they turn scares into silliness.
Wayans portrays Malcolm, who has asked his girlfriend Kisha (Essense Atkins) to move into his home. Soon after her arrival, things get dark really fast. And by dark, we mean in the most unfunny ways.... even if Wayans' reaction to the tragedy is pure hilarity.
What's a guy to do? Hire a security camera expert (David Koechner) to install devices all over the home and our "found footage" parody is off and running. Along the way a psychic (Nick Swarsdon), exorcist ex-con/priest (Cedric the Entertainer) and a trio of tough cousins of Malcolm's (led by Affion Crockett) try to help rid the house of its demons.
As the haunting of the titular house continues, the film has the presence of mind to embrace the idea all audiences think when a family faces a terror in their home. Why not leave?! Well, as Wayans' character says, "I can't afford to sell this house in this economy." It's not only funny and fitting, but true. And thus, the battle for the soul of the house begins.
What this film has going for it, and it is rare in the comedy market, is the A Haunted House trailer succeeds in not giving away too many of the film's laughs. That is so smart because when it comes to a movie that is frankly quite hollow, the laughs are why people pay the price of admission. In the hands of Wayans, the humor of A Haunted House is never in light supply.