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A Haunted House (2013)

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Malcolm and Kisha move into their dream home, but soon learn a demon also resides there. When Kisha becomes possessed, Malcolm - determined to keep his sex life on track - turns to a priest, a psychic, and a team of ghost-busters for help.

Director:

Michael Tiddes
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlon Wayans ... Malcolm
Marlene Forte ... Rosa
Essence Atkins ... Kisha
David Koechner ... Dan the Security Man
Dave Sheridan ... Bob
Nick Swardson ... Chip the Psychic
Alanna Ubach ... Jenny
Andrew Daly ... Steve
J.B. Smoove ... Kisha's Stepdad (as JB Smoove)
Robin Thede ... Kisha's Mom
Jordenn Thompson ... Little Kisha
Affion Crockett ... Ray-Ray
Cedric the Entertainer ... Father Williams
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Storyline

In October 2012 a video footage is found at the home of Malcolm Johnson and the recordings are still unexplained. Past this prologue a story in flashback form unfolds. During the summer of 2012, Malcolm and Kisha move in together and start a happy life. One night Kisha notices a few unexplained phenomena that convince her their house is haunted by ghosts. To allay her fears Malcom hires a camera crew to film inside the house day and night. A few nights later Malcom and Keisha have sex on camera, despite Keisha's protests at being filmed. Upon reviewing the sex tape the next day, Malcom and Keisha notice a few paranormal phenomena caught on tape. Malcom wants to sell the house but the housing market is slow. Therefore, Malcom decides to hire a psychic to come to the house and investigate. After Kisha confesses to making a deal with the devil for a pair of shoes things start to make sense but it doesn't solve the problems caused by the paranormal phenomena. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This $*%! ain't paranormal!

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smartass See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,101,682, 13 January 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$40,041,683

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,141,683
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins were both born in 1972. See more »

Goofs

(at around 24 mins) While they are making the video, the camera is moved from the tripod to the bedside cabinet. When they look at the tape the next day and see the door move, the camera is back on the tripod. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Malcolm: Why isn't this stupid thing working? See, that's that bullshit. I'm taking this shit right back to Best Buy.
[takes off lens cap]
Malcolm: Or not. Stupid lens cap.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Alternative takes are shown during the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the German version the dog is called Bushido. Not only in the voiceover. There is also an alternate gravestone shown with Bushido written on it. See more »

Connections

References Criss Angel Mindfreak (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake It
Written by James Langford and Adam Longlands
Performed by James Langford
Courtesy of Cutting Edge Music Holdings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Should be exorcised as soon as possible
3 February 2013 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

The Wayans brothers have a terrific track record during the beginning of their career, with the SNL-like skit-show In Living Colour and the first two Scary Movie films. Then, as the 2000's pushed on, they veered off into the course of juvenile humor, focusing on nothing but the realms of farts, crudeness, and language, all of which I can laugh at and enjoy when handled with wit and heart. But when so many nonsensical humor bits are thrown at the audience and there's nothing substantial worth sticking around for, the end result is a tedious and utterly uninteresting endeavor.

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.


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