A Haunted House (2013)
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Channel the New Year. Already in the second week, the Tomato Meter is at its lowest- a dashing seven percent, and with a spoof movie. This cannot end well. I will admit, the trailer had me chuckling. I'm big on stereotypical humor, and from time to time I like to succumb myself to just stupid, dumb fun. Being a fan of the first Scary Movie certainly doesn't hurt matters.
With that being said, "A Haunted House" is exactly what you'd expect... and not much else. In terms of humor, the ratio's about 2:5. That might seem like a bad mark, which it is, but for a film that aims at the lowest common denominator and scores a higher denominator, it's not too shabby. Acting/story, well, you don't go to these kinds of movies for that. Same goes for editing/choreography.
There's not much you can say about this film. This is one of those cases where you either are the audience FOR this film or you're not. If you're a fan of the first two Scary Movies, have an admiration for the Wayans brothers, and dig the advertisements for this film, you'll walk out of there with some good laughs here and there. If you completely despise these movies, or this type of humor in general, you'll walk out feeling cheated.
However, be warned, this is NOT a kids film (ala a Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer production or even the last Scary Movies that were PG-13). Tons of sex scenes (played for laughs though), nudity, drugs, and such abound.
All in all, it's not as bad as you're led to believe, but it's still pretty flimsy.
Overall it had a good talented cast and normally I think I would have enjoyed something like this but I didn't like the paranormal activity influence. Nobody needs to rip-off the paranormal activity series as there have been enough stupid sequels from the original movie. Dull as hell and highly overrated.
If you're looking for a decent horror spoof, I recommend picking up Scary Movie 5 instead. It's not a great movie either, but it's Oscar material compared to this stink bomb.
thank you for reading
This film feels less like a parody of the "Paranormal Activity" films during much of its running length and more like a potential spin-off of the series. For nearly the first half-hour of the film, the movie is set-up just like every other "PA" film with Malcolm getting a camera and becoming increasingly (and very unhealthily) obsessed with filming every aspect of their daily lives until the first moments of a haunting start--and then he gets MORE cameras! There might have been some jokes in the form of Wayans hamming it up for the camera but, for the most part, these sequences were just as inane and as boring as the opening to any typical "found footage" film.
Once the jokes and the "humor" actually starts, I found I was just as silent and as stoic as I was during the first part of the film. All the jokes come from either bottom of the barrel fart and private part jokes, parodies of sequences from the "found footage" films they are mocking that are just shoe-horned into the story (and when they don't feel completely out of place, are just painfully unfunny) and argument-style banter between characters that are overflowing with pop culture metaphors and stereotypes that are more annoying than humorous. In fact, most of the film is taking references, stereotypes and parody sequences and beating them over and over again till they are no longer recognizable as a potentially comedic scene and just become grating and hard to sit through.
Really, everything about this is predictable and cliché with no real breaths of fresh air placed in it. Occasionally, I found myself laughing but, in all honesty, I laughed only twice at something Marlon Wayans did and the rest of the time I was just silent.
Marlon gives off some straight-laced performances but they are just lost in a string of nonsense from those around him and performances that reek of the scenery that Koechner,Swardson and Cedric the Entertainer just chewed on. The rest of the cast look like they were just goofing around on set, trying to amuse each other, and the director just said, "Cut, we'll work with that." However,everyone pales in comparison with the really, truly, immensely awful performance of Essence Atkins. Atkins is just hard to watch. She pretty much overacts every scene she's in to the point it's like watching a person parody the parody that they are performing in. Even Swardson looked somewhat decent compared to her.
Shockingly, however, I was really impressed with the film's effects. The haunting sequences look really good and are about on par with anything seen in the "Activity" films. However, this doesn't make the film funnier, it only makes it look more like a spin-off of the franchise.
"A Haunted House" is, plain and simple, not funny. The two amusing moments it did present to me did nothing to allow the classification of this movie as a comedy or even a well-thought out parody/satire. The film feels less like a comedy and more like a collection of YouTube videos of people using their camera phones to make poorly feathered out "Paranormal Activity" send ups. This movie is proof that the art of the parody is not an easy one and just doing some poop jokes in a scene that looks like the scene from the movie you are mocking doesn't constitute a parody.
Shawn Wayans, however, is absent from A Haunted House, leaving his brother and longtime co-worker Marlon to pick up the slack. The idea and thought I always manage to encounter when viewing one of their films or, to broaden this up, a parody movie, is that the cast and crew definitely had a good time making this movie, what will all the idiocy that could drum up knowing that a nice, shiny lump-sum of cash would await them opening weekend. However, when I sit through an eighty-one minute parody, given nothing but extended fart gags, annoying characters, ridiculously crass sex scenes, and a minute and a half sequence of a grown man having sex with a teddy bear, I don't laugh, I wince and later recall the experience sourly.
The story concerns a young couple, Malcolm and Keisha (Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins), who optimistically move in together into a beautiful new suburban home. Malcolm decides that this unforgettable time in his life needs to be recorded prolifically, so everything we see in this film is recorded from Malcolm's personal camera. Soon, things become frighteningly paranormal as the young couple experiences loud, abrupt pangs in the middle of the night, haunting screams coming from who knows where, and the obligatory series of things falling from the ceiling and off the table for no apparent reason. When Malcolm learns that it's Keisha's presence that makes these paranormal activities occur, he decides to hire people like David Koechner, Cedric the Entertainer, and Nick Swardson (aka laugh devices to push the story over eighty minutes long) to try and exorcise the demons from their home.
Within the first few minutes of the film, we get our first mean-spirited, completely uncalled for joke which involves Keisha, who pulled into the driveway and ran over Malcolm's dog. What follows is a frantic chase to revive the dog using jumper cables and CPR, before Malcolm decides to run down the street, dog in arms, screaming for medical help. I reiterate for the umpteenth time that animal abuse in films is unwarranted, exploitative, and unnecessary, and to make humor out of it is lower than relying on toilet humor.
A Haunted House may not capitalize off of the "how many movies can we lampoon and how many references can we make in ninety minutes?" theme that has made Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer so successful with their long line of "Movie" movies, but it fails largely because of its persistency to make unfunny things seem funny and implement an outdated parody.
So your film is making fun of Paranormal Activity and tries to sustain that gimmick by mocking the series' stupidity and incredulity for eighty-one straight minutes? Congratulations? The fact of the matter is that the series has been parodied so many times that in order to make a new parody of it funny, you really must try to have sly writing and witty banter. Not just idiotic situations over and over again, occupied by unnecessary shouting, four-letter words, chaotic mishaps, senseless misunderstandings, and lunacy. It's like making a parody for The Blair Witch Project and Twilight in 2013. It's no longer a question of "what can we make funny?" it's a question of "what is there left to make fun of?" A Haunted House, unfortunately, predicates itself off of the lowest common denominator of humor. It's repetitive, dreary, and lazy in its efforts to make humor out of the Paranormal Activity franchise. Instead of going for the low-brow work, making a parody film that doesn't seem to care about the quality of its work, Marlon Wayans would've been better to just round up his brother and attempt a satire or a comedic farce off of original material from his own mind.
Maybe this sounds like the movie you've been waiting to see for a while now. I suppose we must cherish stupid humor in a time of serious problems. Contrary to what some believe, I walked in with optimism that I would see a clever parody of a film series so tired and worn, already approaching its fifth installment this year. Ironically, I would've rather watched the forthcoming Paranormal Activity 5 than this. The jokes and setups are so tiredly concocted and stale that, much like the franchise being parodied here, you feel you've seen it all before and the element of surprise has evaporated into thin air. I return to the statement I made in my review of Movie 43 that the spoof/skit genre is uniformly dead and, at this point, is just awaiting a ceremony and a funeral.
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Cedric the Entertainer, Nick Swardson, David Koechner, and Dave Sheridan. Directed by: Michael Tiddes.
Sure, the reason they use keep them in the house is a poor one to say the least, but it kept me laughing pretty much the whole way through, save a few dry spots where the actors started to try too hard. Just be glad it was done the Wayans and not Seltzerberg.
The movie served its purpose to make fun of Paranormal Activity and the like, but it just wasn't funny. It was dumb. I didn't laugh through out the whole, and almost shut it off twice, but I sat through it thinking it would get better. Though it never did.
I felt like the movie tried really hard to be funny, but most of the scenes just felt repetitive and got old quick, and lasted longer than they should've.
The film was pretty crude and raunchy, which doesn't bother me, and mainly consisted of fart, poop and sex jokes, with one drug reference. So yeah you're not missing much.
But, A Haunted House isn't much of any genre that it boasts off. There are some ridiculously funny scenes out there and you will laugh your stomach out. But the rest 60 % of the total 80 minutes will bore the hell out of you - conversations, clichéd plot points and vague sequences. When you spoof Paranormal Activity & The Devil Inside, you shouldn't just copy, but invent. And I personally feel, the plot could've been a little more Wayanic. And I found only the lead actors funny; the rest were platonic.
You should not visit a theater for this and can easily pass or wait for the DVD. But, if you are a spoof-lover and dig Scary Movie franchise, The Disaster Movie, Epic Movie & Dance Flick, this is for you!
WATCH OUT FOR: the smoking ghost!
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO
Language: Strong | Sex: Very Strong | Nudity: Critically Strong | Violence: Strong | Smoking: Average | Alcohol: No | Gore: No | Mouth- Kiss: Strong
The stereotypes are also sexually allusive: the gay character (always depicted in a negative way) is always white. Female whites are either unattractive or sexually promiscuous.
The movie is just a dull,cheap and boring comedy, a insipid spoof of Paranormal experience (another awful movie). In comparison any Scary movie episode spoofed a lot of movie in more clever way. There are also a lot of gratuitous sex contents, put to compensate the lack of intelligence and real contents.
Very stupid and unfunny. save your money and your time
Sex with his girlfriend - OK I guess. Naked girls cutting coke - Was this needed? Horny lesbian college friend - First time was enough. Maid getting it on with the gardener - give it a rest!!! Graphic sex with stuffed animals - really? Sex with ghosts - enough already!
All this movie turned out to be is sex joke after disgusting sex joke.
There should be more of a disclaimer then just the rated R.
I hit the theater a couple times a month. However, due to this movie I will do more research before seeing my next movie.
If you want a good laugh see this movie!
I really enjoyed In Living Color and the Wayan Brothers and was looking forward to this movie. It could have been good.
It sucked. I wanted to leave after the first 5 minutes, but gave it a chance. I should have left.
Marlon was good, but he couldn't carry the entire show. And, he went long on some parts too.
The rest of the actors were terrible. Quality of a TV show at best.
There were some good parts, but all of them added up to about 5 minutes of good. The best part, was the trailer.
It's primarily based on Paranormal Activity, which I haven't seen due to the fact I can't stand the first person/home video point of view filming. A haunted House just isn't funny anyway. I might have watched a little over half way through before I had seen enough to turn it off.
I can't recommend this to anybody. Total waist of time. Maybe some of the stoners will like it.
Here we have a couple who decides to live together in a nice house, but suddenly strange things start to happen. Well, it's easy: just imagine Paranormal Activity as a satirical comedy with elements of other horror films like The Devil Inside, The Blair Witch Project and even The Exorcist. Knowing this, we obviously can't expect it to be the greatest comedy of the year, but it could have been at least a nice film to enjoy with friends and have good laughs. Fact: it doesn't happen.
The real problem with this film is the lack of interesting and original jokes - they are too predictable and old fashioned (we have seen the same jokes on films like 'Scary Movie'). It seems like Marlon Wayneans - who is also the creator of the Scary Movie franchise just changed the name of the film. There is the gay stereotype, the perverted couple, the husband who always want to have sex... There isn't anything new about this film.
A Hounted House is watchable, but do not expect too much. There are better comedies in which you can spend your money with.