A Haunted House (2013) – Review

3 1/2 Stars


Having grown weary of the declining Paranormal Activity trilogy, A Haunted House arrives just in time to uproariously skewer the series and found footage flicks in general. Leave it up to the talented Wayans clan to successfully lampoon the new generation of horror, after having done it 13 years before riffing on Scream and it’s contemporaries in Scary Movie and the sequel Scary Movie 2. A Haunted House isn’t the instant classic those films are, but it is just as good as the criminally underrated White Chicks. More importantly it nearly erases the memory of Little Man and firmly establishes Marlon Wayans as one of the most gifted comedians working today.

We meet Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) on the day his long-time girlfriend Keisha (Essence Atkins) is moving into his home. He has just purchased a video camera from the local Best Buy and plans to document the couples’ life together. After a few uneventful nights, a series of unexplainable noises are heard and physical items are suddenly moved about. All of the usual stops are hit along the way, but Wayans and his co writer Rick Alvarez (working with excellent supporting comedic talent) turn the typical on its ear. There is the home video surveillance guy, who keeps begging Malcolm to let him utter a racial slur. A psychic is called in to investigate the supernatural and as played by Nick Swardson, is more interested in Malcolm’s heterosexuality than spirits.

There are plenty of genuine laughs throughout the scant 87 minute running-time, unlike most comedies the film doesn’t run out of steam in the first twenty minutes. This is a consistently funny movie, that had me laughing out loud numerous times. The rare comedy I wanted to watch again, immediately. As with any spoof, a working knowledge of the source material is always a plus.

Director: Michael Tiddes
Stars: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins. Nick Swardson

2 thoughts on “A Haunted House (2013) – Review”

  1. I’ve got to disagree with you on this one Jason. I thought the jokes were stale and tired, and found the jokes revolving around the girlfriend first moving in to be the funniest which isn’t saying a whole lot.

    I think it’s time to put an end to the parody films, because they just don’t work anymore.

    1. These parodies are so hit and miss that I was surprised how much I laughed. Having been burnt out on the source material I enjoyed the lampooning of cliches. I have no defense it made me laughed I gave it a positive review.

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