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A Haunted House
A Haunted House
Director: Michael Tiddes
Writers: Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte, David Koechner, Dave Sheridan, Nick Swardson, Alanna Ubach, Andrew Daly, Cedric the Entertainer, Affion Crockett, J.B. Smoove, Robin Thede, Jordenn Thompson
Synopsis: Malcolm and Kisha move into their dream home, but soon learn a demon also resides there. When Kisha becomes possessed, Malcolm - determined to keep his sex life on track - turns to a priest, a psychic, and a team of ghost-busters for help.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and some drug use
This @#%$ ain't paranormal!
With all the found footage horror movies coming out these days, it was only a matter of time before someone would try to make a parody of it; and what better parody to make than the film that made it popular to begin with..."Paranormal Activity." Although to be fair, "Paranormal Activity" was not the first movie to invent the found footage sub genre in horror, but it was the movie that catapulted the style into mainstream popularity.
Therefore, it only makes sense that we'd see a parody version of that film eventually, and it's finally here. Not only does "A Haunted House" take a few cheap shots at "Paranormal Activity", but it also makes various jokes and references to the sequels as well. Some fans of the franchise might recognize the camera on the fan bit, as it plays a huge part in this parody as well, but in a more comical sense.
Heck, they even poke fun at "Paranormal Activity 4", with it's use of digital cameras, and having all of the cameras linked to a laptop. In fact, they even throw in jokes at reality TV shows as well; along with various d*** and sex jokes in there for good reference. I guess when you add these things up, we have Marlon Wayans new film, "A Haunted House."
In terms of parodies, I wouldn't call it the best one out there, as all parodies these days are essentially rip offs of films; while inserting random comedy sketches that mainly have to do with various pop culture references. Granted, pop culture references are nice, but it just makes the film dated over time. Whether we like it or not, this is what parodies have become nowadays.
To be honest, it's hard judging parodies these days, as most of them aren't exactly great as they used to be like "Airplane!", "Blazing Saddles" and etc. Plus, they're not supposed to be taken seriously anyway, so there's always the debate of how cynical one can be when reviewing a parody. Sure, I could be a jerk, and over analyze a parody, and then call it crap based on the fact that most of them don't hold a candle to the parodies of old.
Or, I could just be too lenient with a parody, and give it an inflated rating based on the fact that's it's funny. Therefore, it's quite a conundrum for me. To be honest, I did laugh throughout this movie. Not because it's a cleverly written parody in ilk of "Airplane!" and etc, but mainly because the jokes were funny, and it's hard to really take a parody seriously; when it's obvious that not even the filmmakers themselves took it that seriously.
The film essentially follows a young man named Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) that finally gets his girlfriend to move in with him. To celebrate the occasion, he decides to document his days with her 24/7; even during sex. At first she objects to it, but we soon find out that her family did the exact same thing when she was a kid (poking fun at "Paranormal Activity 3"); which prompts Malcolm to call her a hypocrite on that one.
Unlike the entity in "Paranormal Activity", this entity's beef is played up for more comical effect, as he not only goes to great lengths to scare the living s*** out of them, but he also smokes a joint with them; along with raping both Malcolm and his girlfriend, in their sleep. However, things get even more interesting when the entity possesses Malcolm's girlfriend; which prompts him to ask for help from a convict turned priest, a gay psychic that wants to rape Malcolm, and a bunch of reality show ghost exterminators. What ensues from here is a comical satire of various horror films, with pop culture references in between. Heck, they even poke fun at the "Last Exorcism" in this parody as well. Isn't that nice?
As I said earlier, it's hard to judge a parody these days, as filmmakers have reduced them to be essentially rip offs of other films; with pop culture references and random comedy sketches. Therefore, it's hard to tell how cynical one should be when judging a movie like this, but I will say a few things though.
If you're one of these movie fans that yearn for the days when parodies were great, and actually had an original story to tell like "Blazing Saddles", "Robin Hood: Men in Tights", "Spaceballs" and etc, then you'll probably end up hating this film altogether, so I'd stay away from it.
However, if you're like me, and you don't take parodies too seriously to begin with, then you might like this movie, as it's good for a few laughs. In the end, isn't that what comedies are supposed to be about? Making the viewer laugh?
Overall, I'd have to give "A Haunted House" a two out of four. It's good for a rental once it comes out on DVD/Blue Ray, but I wouldn't see this in theaters.