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A Haunted House Review: I Ain’t Afraid Of This #@%*% Ghost

By Agent Bedhead | Film Reviews | January 11, 2013 | Comments ()


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I suppose Paranormal Activity and the like have had it coming. Marlon Wayans' latest horror spoof aims to do what "South Park" did to "Ghost Hunters"; that is, to illustrate through all manners of crudeness and wicked humor the logical fallacies inherent in such source material. Unfortunately, A Haunted House manages to muster up the crudeness in spades, but the effort falls flat due to nonexistent humor and one of the most inept scripts ever known to man (despite slick as hell production values). It's a shame that Wayans has seen fit to poke fun at the found-footage subcategory of horror flicks without actually making sure that his audience would take delight in the output. Nobody expected a truly good movie from A Haunted House, but this didn't need to be an experience that was not only completely pointless and miserable but also shrill to the extreme.

Not only does this film extensively draw its gags from Paranormal Activity 1-4, but it also sprinkles in some of The Devil Inside, The Last Exorcism, and even a bit of late-breaking fare such as The Apparition for bad measure. The problem, of course (beyond the lack of genuine laughs), is that everyone is already so tired of found footage films that they almost make fun of themselves unless they bring something new to the table such as last fall's Sinister. I'm almost certainly attempting to make a futile point because A Haunted House makes no wry statements on the essence of why found footage movies are supposed to be scary in the first place. Instead, it aims for two main notes: (1) Offensive; and (2) Ear-splitting. And in those two regards, the film succeeds mightily.

At the beginning of the story, Malcolm (Wayans) helps Keisha (Essence Atkins) move into his bland, suburban home. Unbeknownst to him, she's being followed by a demon. Naturally, Malcolm had already decided to videotape everything beforehand because, who knows, he might get laid too. Well, dude doesn't manage to get laid (and of course, she kills his dog immediately), so he decides to solve that problem (the sex one, not the dog one) by trying to get rid of the ghost (I don't get it either). Enter the obligatory exorcist called Father Williams (Cedric the Entertainer) and a token psychic named Chip (Nick Swardson), who just happens to be homosexual -- because this movie already manages to be unfunny and make tons of racial jokes, so we might as well pile on heavy with the gay slurs as well. There are some "ghost hunters" (David Koechner and Dave Sheridan) who show up on the scene to film a shitty television show, and of course, some "Ghostbusters" make improper tribute as well.

A Haunted House comes off as almost exactly the same as its source movies spliced into one 90-minute, goopy mess with absolutely no scares but lots of added drugs, ghost-fucking "jokes," and wholly gratuitous use of the N-word. Somewhere in the mix, there's a giant pile of Wayans poop on display as well, but it's not really important for you to know the specifics on that note. It goes without saying that I may never feel clean again. Somehow (and I didn't think this was possible), the "Ghostbursters" scene manages to be far worse than anything that's bobbing around in Dan Aykroyd's vodka-addled brain at this very moment. That last sentence should tell you everything you need to know when evaluating whether or not to see A Haunted House.

Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • EXCELLENT MOVlE

  • ,

    "Essence" is an excellent first name.

    But it makes me fear that some poor shmuck will soon be named Excrescense.

  • BlackRabbit

    I've met a young man named Rayon. Rayon!

  • e jerry powell

    And she played Rachel True's little sister?

  • PDamian

    I saw it. I haven't stopped weeping.

    I have a good friend with a teenage son with whom I occasionally go see movies. The kid is almost pathologically shy and has a terrible stutter, and very few friends as a consequence. He's a wonderful kid, too; I hope his peers recognize someday. The movie was his choice, and probably payback for my forcing him to see Rise of the Guardians, a movie he hated.

    Haunted House was quite an experience for me -- I think I was the oldest person in the theatre. It was infantile, misogynist, and extraordinarily racist. The teens in the theatre laughed like hyenas. The "humor" consisted primarily of Cedric the Entertainer making a stream of "bitch be crazy" jokes, Nick Swardson stripping his clothes and attempting repeatedly to molest Marlon Wayans, and a desperately unfunny, would-be girlfriend-swapping couple -- and their repeated requests for a "Mandingo party" had me ready to burn the theatre down.

    After the movie was blessedly over, my teen friend tried to apologize for his choice, but was so worried that I'd be angry that his stutter became quite pronounced, and the teens in the theatre thought that was hilarious, too, much to my friend's mortification. Jesus Christ, I have never wanted to strangle so many nasty little shits in my life. Right now, my bitterness with the world, and with this film and its adolescent fans, knows no bounds.

  • e jerry powell

    You can Netflix with the kid for a while, at least.

  • e jerry powell

    One-downing Ackroyd takes some doing.

  • Thank you for this review. I've been trying to find a way to get out of seeing this for sure, since I haven't really laughed at anything the Wayans' have done since Scary Movie (and even then ..). A part of me was hoping it would be good, but that was a small part that shrank with every overexposure to the trailers.

  • e jerry powell

    Are you saying that you would have gone to see it but for this review?

  • You will realize one day that there are things you do out of love that you're simply not proud of.

  • e jerry powell

    And what, pray tell, is your safeword?

  • BANANA CREAM PIE.

    (NSFW) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • e jerry powell

    That little munchkin, before he lost his damn mind.

  • No scares? Just like the Paranormal Activity series. How meta.

  • John W

    You have my sympathies Ms. Bedhead.

  • Drake

    Home sick with the flu, and Marlon was co-hosting on Anderson Live today. I had to turn it off. He was trying so hard to be funny and wacky, and it was so unfunny and desperate.

    Not sure why Anderson had him on. Disappointing.

  • e jerry powell

    But Anderson Cooper's BFF is Kathy Fracking Griffin, and she works harder at it than the entire Wayans family working in concert.

  • Yikes. Sorry you had to suffer, Bedhead. We usually save these piles of steamy filmmaking for TK, don't we?

  • Fredo

    And yet, if you gave me the choice, I'd rather see this than Gangster Squad.

  • John G.

    Are you joking or insane?

  • Fredo

    I really do.

    Lowbrow humor has it's place. Late at night. Preferably under the influence. With friends.

  • Your Daddy

    He likes fart jokes.

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