Written by guest contributor Brian Roe
This is a profoundly stupid movie. It is racist, misogynistic, misanthropic, but also incredibly obvious. There apparently was another movie called A Haunted House. This is the second one. Yay.
Marlon Wayans tries so damned hard. He is constantly active both physically and facially, like a man who has made a sad bet with himself to out Jim Carrey Jim Carrey. His desire to sell a scene is admirable. What is not admirable is the constant reaffirmation that women need to be hit and that life is nothing but sex broken up by other things. Wayans’s sex scenes with an antique doll that his wife finds are unsettling in that they start to feel unscripted, like he has somehow made the connection with an ancient piece of wood in a way that brings him to carnal fulfillment on a level that his wife never will. Wayans is either an amazing actor or someone who likes to get rimjobs from children’s toys.
And speaking of children there is an unsettling amount of sleazy sexuality laid on our hero’s high school age step daughter played by Ashley Rickards. For a character who is portrayed as being under eighteen there is an inordinate amount of talk of anal sex, oral sex, fisting, you know, the normal high school sexcapades that all kids go through. But the character is spoken of as a “whore” so who really cares. When you can’t even bother to call someone a “ho” they have to know that they don’t have your attention.
So in case you care the overall story is that Wayans’s character Malcolm Johnson was once run out of a house due to the demonic possession of his girlfriend. So in the tradition of Paranormal Activity he’s taken to covering his new house in security cameras including cameras in toilets and the mouths and asses of the children’s stuffed animals because you know, ANUS! So the idea is that someone is always filming the goings on and whatever. There’s some attempt to mark certain shots with a time code but they have no effect overall and seem like an afterthought. Nobody cares that this is not really found footage. And if you’re going to use that trope then USE IT! So fucking lazy...
Gabriel Iglesias is great overall. He delivers his lines with a rapid fire sincerity that sells his character while also confirming everything you’ve ever heard about Mexicans is totally true. It’s great to see Rick Overton in a role that will surprise you. And Missi Pyle and Hayes MacArthur are great as Ned And Norene Swanson, a thinly veiled swipe at Ed and Lorraine Warren that is some of the funniest stuff in the movie. And Cedric the Entertainer doesn’t. His demonically possessed rant about how Chris Brown was justified in beating Rhianna is just fucking vile.
And that leads me to my biggest issue with this movie. It’s not humorous. It is cruel, hyperactive, boisterous, loud, and screechy but it’s very rarely funny. It’s like someone has recorded a bully making fun of the disabled kid in school and weaponized it. It plays to the bullies and the hateful and honestly who cares to laugh along with them?
While Wayans works his ass off to sell this badly written crap he also comes across as desperate and over eager. He brings to mind Jerry Lewis in his later film career when he would work tirelessly to sell a joke that everyone had already guessed and nobody wanted to see played out. So that’s the worse that I can say about Marlon Wayans. He’s his generation’s Jerry Lewis.
Director: Michael Tiddes Studio: Universal Studios Runtime: 86 minutes