Despite the hot garbage that was last year’s A Haunted House — a languid, grating attempt at throwing Marlon Wayans back into the always-lucrative horror parody business — it still made millions of dollars. A lot of this has to do with how cheaply these things can be made. I guess Wayans comes cheap these days, and a whole lot of corners can be cut by filming in a single location. There’s no way it wouldn’t make millions of dollars, which is a depressing, depressing thought.
Since there’s no way a sequel could fail, here comes A Haunted House 2, which is essentially the first movie all over again, though there do appear to be differences. While the found footage aspect of the movie remains, this time around, Wayans and company are going after movies like Sinister (2012) and James Wan’s Insidious (2010), Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) and The Conjuring (2013). And by going after, I mean pulling things from the trailers and grafting some weed and sex jokes onto them. Imagine the lowest common denominator. Now, imagine lifting up the lowest common denominator and finding an even lower, never-before-discovered denominator nestled comfortably underneath.
There’s exactly one amusing joke (about Madea Goes to Mars, which sounds infinitely better than this movie). It only serves to remind you what humor is before the rest of the movie tramples your better inclinations. This is, after all, a movie with a Wayans in it. I’m not even going to get into a full-on description of what constitutes that distinct Marlon Wayans’ style, but without addressing the more Freudian aspects, this is a man who thinks his own bare ass is the height of comedy. This movie is an affront to good taste and an affront to America, where a man can get paid seven digits (OK, let’s be realistic, six digits) to hump a spooky doll twice on screen. I can only take solace in the fact that one day the sun will eat the earth and every $5 remainder bin DVD of A Haunted House 2 with it. Rated R for crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violent images.
Playing at Carolina Cinemas, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grane, United Artists Beaucatcher.