A Haunted House 2 (2014) – Review

1 Star

A lack of fresh comedic invention results in a relentlessly tasteless sequel, that will make anyone with an iota of intelligence cringe. This is a major disappointment after the surprisingly enjoyable original. Lacking any effective supporting players, star Marlon Wayans is left to flounder uncomfortably onscreen for the majority of the running-time. Stripping away the smart and self-aware satirical angle that defined the Wayans troupe work on the successful Scary Movie franchise, A Haunted House 2 is predictable and infantile nonsense that might amuse kids old enough to sneak into the movies by themselves.

Malcolm Johnson (Marlon Wayans) is once again under attack from apparitions. After surviving the events of the first movie, which left his former fiance Kisha possessed by a demon, Malcolm has moved on and married Megan. Her two children are a mixed bag of neuroses, the boy has an imaginary friend who is African-American and the teenage daughter is already EMO, but is now under the control of a mysterious treasure chest. Setting up multiple cameras for security purposes, Malcolm and his family soon start to notice the appearance of a creepy doll, Abigail. This leads to the counsel of insane Father Doug (Cedric the Entertainer), who’s advice is neither sane or safe.

The first movie took it’s cues from the massively popular Paranormal Activity series. This time out, the jokes are taken from The Conjuring, and the target isn’t as ripe for spoofing. There is a line during the movie, in which Malcolm ponders, “When are they they going to stop making Scary Movie sequels without the Wayans brothers? Those movies suck!” He has a point there, but A Haunted House 2 is as bad as the worst in that sorted franchise’s long history.

A Haunted House 2 is a desperate sequel that veers out of control quickly and only gets worse as the unamusing events progress. Wayans’ tendency to play scene at full tilt makes this a grating, unfunny viewing experience. Such misspent energy becomes obnoxious by film’s end. The only saving grace is another Hail Mary from Cedric the Entertainer as a reformed convict turned priest. His add-libs are often hilarious and irreverent, something this limp comedy could have used more of. Also of interest is the return of tough-guy gang-banger Ray Ray (Affion Crockett) his few moments of screen-time call for a spin-off character follow-up.

Director: Michael Tiddes
Stars: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Cedric the Entertainer, Essence Atkins

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