A Movie Review on A Haunted House (2013)
I was actually stoked to see A Haunted House when the first trailer was finally released. It looked like it had the potential to be the next Scary Movie (which is releasing its fifth film this year), especially with Marlon Waynes in the lead role. As the next couple of months progressed I became less, and less interested in seeing the movie. I don't know if it was the fact that the trailer came across much less funny the second time around, or if there was something else, but either way I lost interest in actually seeing the film. What I can say now is, save your money and wait for it to hit Netflix or Redbox before seeing it. It's not worth spending the money to see it in a movie theater, but would serve better as a renter for a few laughs.
A Haunted House is a spoof-comedy that is a parody of both the Paranormal Activity series and The Devil Inside (a truly terrible film). The movie follows Malcolm and Kisha as they begin to experience paranormal activity inside their home, and must seek outside help to get rid of this terrorizing entity. What ensues is a half-hearted attempt at being the next Scary Movie, that is very hit and miss. The movie had the potential to be much funnier, but is instead completely stupid, half funny, and half boring. If you've seen either Paranormal Activity or The Devil Inside you pretty much know what is going to happen story wise.
Lets talk about the laughs first. The first 20-30 minutes of the movie are actually quite funny, giving us an absolutely stupid, but hilarious scene of Malcolm simulating sex between himself and a teddy bear, and a childish scene of farting that actually made me laugh quite a bit. Then it feels like the comedic aspects of the movie fall off a cliff, and don't return for 20 or so minutes. The introductions of Dan the Security Man, and Chip the Psychic are neither funny nor entertaining, and are very boring to watch. The last third of the movie brings back some good comedic aspects of the flim, but is never able to reach the same status as the first half. I would say the movie is about half and half. Half of the jokes land and are laugh out loud funny, but the other half of the jokes fall flat
The only highlight in the acting department for this film is Marlon Waynes, who does a fairly decent job as Malcolm. He is quite likable considering he is playing a character in a parody film. The same can not be said about Essence Atkins who comes across who I found to be mildly annoying. There was just something about her, and her acting that really made me dislike seeing her on screen. David Koechner as Dan, Nick Swardson as Chip, and Cedric the Entertainer as Father Doug were all phenomenally terrible in their roles. All three of them were nowhere near funny, but were boring, annoying, and downright weird. Come to think of it, none of the actors beside Waynes are actually funny in their roles. Marlon Waynes really holds everything together, and without him this movie would have been a complete disaster.
The movie is extremely, and sometimes unnecessarily, raunchy throughout, but it's not done to the same level of effect as Scary Movie. Scary Movie was raunchy, but hilarious which is not what A Haunted House is. I do have to give the movie kudos for it references to Saints Row 3, Left 4 Dead, and Samuel L Jackson. It's a shame that this movie didn't feature anymore references or "Easter eggs", because the ones it does use do a good job bring laughs.
A Haunted House is very hit and miss with the first third of the movie being funny, the second third of the movie being boring, and the final third being a mix of both. A little bit more time and effort could have gone so much further. It's great to see Marlon Wayne back into the starring role, but it's not enough to save the film. I recommend waiting until Netflix or Redbox have it before checking it out. It's definitely not worth the price of admission to the theaters.
Directed by Michael Tiddes
Starring Marlon Waynes, Essence Atkins, David Koechner, Nick Swardson, Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Sheridan, Marlene Forte, and Andrew Daly.
Rated R. Runtime 86 Minutes