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A Haunted House – 6

Director – Michael Tiddes

Cast – Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte, David Koechner, Dave Sheridan, Nick Swardson, Alanna Ubach, Andrew Daly, Cedric the Entertainer, Affion Crockett

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought it looked stupid, and not in a good way. I am a big fan of horror/comedy spoofs, and actually enjoy Scary Movie very much. It did not surprise me when I saw that Marlon Wayans would have a role in spoofing Paranormal Activity, the pinnacle of modern found-footage flicks, and I told myself I would never watch this. Well, the other night I was messing around in my bedroom (not like THAT) and wanted a film to play in the background, so I figured I’d play this worthless trash while I went about my business and if I paid enough attention to it I could write a review. Little did I know, I found myself laughing aloud of numerous occasions, and while this is not a film I would recommend you check out, it most definitely was not a waste of my time like I thought it would be.

Malcom’s relationship with Kisha has reached the point where he invites her to move in with him. Little does he know, a demon moves in with him as well. When Kisha becomes possessed, Malcolm will do everything to keep his sex life on track, and turns to a priest, a psychic, and a team of amateur ghost adventurers for help.

This story had me hooked early on, and had it not been for that I probably would not have paid enough attention to appreciate the positives the flick had to offer. The development kicks into gear pretty quickly, showing us the peaceful life Marlon lives in his dream home. He is quite sure that asking Mia to move in will be a good idea, much to the behest of his friends. Soon after Kisha moves in they begin to experience some paranormal activity, and the activity is pretty tame. The film never takes the horror seriously and keeps it in the backseat for the majority of the runtime. When there IS horror going on there is always something else going on too, like the couple having sex while obvlivious to the ghost roaming around their bedroom. If you are watching this for the horror you will be very disappointed. It eventually does hit “hard” when Kisha becomes possessed, but those scenes are tame and pretty much garbage. Now, if you are going into this for the comedy then that is a different story. I enjoyed the comedy, which came to us in a variety of ways. Most of the comedy is character driven, and I found the gay psychic, Chip, to be hilarious and probably my favorite character in the film. Cedric the Entertainer and David Koechner join Marlon Wayans in this film and their characters provide some solid laughs too. Just like how Scary Movie mimicked Scream, A Haunted House mimics Paranormal Activity. What I mean by that is there are many scenes in this film that are basically identical to the film it is mimicking, except the scenes are done in a “funny” way.

Director Michael Tiddes did a fairly good job executing this film. He had me engaged from the get-go and managed to achieve solid performances from the actors involved. This is definitely a character/actor-driven film and the actors involved sold their roles, however Essence Atkins’ performance as Kisha was the most unenjoyable. Naturally you would want good results from the film’s main protagonists, but she came off as a modern day Shelly Duvall. His execution of the comedy was great though, and I credit his direction with delivering so many laughs. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, the horror is pretty tame and basically garbage. It applies to both the writing and the direction. I cannot really fault him too much for this because even though he directed this piece it really does not “feel’ like HIS film, but a Wayans’ flick where he was their puppet.

Overall, A Haunted House actually gave me a decent experience that was nowhere near as bad as I assumed it would be. This is not a great film and I would not recommend it to anyone, BUT if it surpassed my expectations then it may surpass yours too. I would not watch it again, but I will show some of my favorite comedic scenes to my friends. I am sure that says something.

Rating: 6/10

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