A Haunted House REVIEW

A Haunted House film review.

A Haunted House.

The mob of angry filmgoers was outside.

Release Date: 19 June 2013
15 | 86 minutes
Distributor: Vertigo Films
Director: Michael Tiddes
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, David Koechner, Marlene Forte, Nick Swardson

A Haunted House is written by and stars Marlon Wayans of Scary Movie, Dance Flick and White Chicks fame. It shares a lot in common with those films: a sense of humour that can charitably be described as “broad”, pantomime performances from the cast, and the almost physical sensation of your precious life ticking second by second away, while you sink miserably into your seat.

It’s a parody of found-footage horror films. Malcolm (Wayans) moves in with his girlfriend Kisha (Atkins), and discovers that their house is haunted, for some never-fully-explained reason. Hilarity ensues – if, you define hilarity as jokes about periods, women farting and gay people.

It starts with a gag about Wayans’s dog being hit by a car and killed (oh, my sides!), and reaches its apogee with a sequence in which he is bummed by the ghost. Kisha also gets ghost-raped, but it’s okay, apparently, because it was a good shag.

The weird thing is, there’s the shadow of a good idea here: a Buffy-style metaphor, with Malcolm literally haunted by his anxiety about settling down. But it’s never explored and feels like an accidental by-product rather than a conscious decision. Instead, this is just another in a long line of mercilessly unfunny spoofs, with the biggest laugh coming from the way that Wayans writes virtually every other character as fancying him. A sequel is, depressingly, already in production. The idiots are winning.

Will Salmon twitter.com/evilrobotbill

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