I’ll be honest, I dreaded having to watch ‘A Haunted House’, despite the decent trailer I’d seen. I mean, how many recent comedy films with a Wayans brother attached have actually been funny? Several years back, I’m sure we might have agreed that they made some funny movies, but as of late, their comedies have been lacking. With that in mind, I’m very happy to say that when I walked out of the theater from viewing ‘A Haunted House’, my cheeks hurt from laughter. Yes, it’s silly, stupid and insane, but man, I laughed from start to finish, which is rare. I can easily say that this is the funniest movie I’ve seen since ‘Ted‘.
Now, this is not your typical ‘Scary Movie‘ type of film. It’s not even part of the Wayans’ brothers duo. The movie simply stars Marlon Wayans, and is a “Found Footage” spoof that takes its cues from the lucrative ‘Paranormal Activity‘ horror franchise, complete with some of the same special effects, storylines and characters. Just add a heavy dose of raunchy humor that left me in stitches and laughing about it for days after. With a solid supporting cast of comedians and hilarious dialogue, ‘A Haunted House’ has enough laughs to fill two films.
If you’ve seen any of the ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies, especially the first one, you know the story. We focus on a young couple, Malcolm (Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins), who move in together to start the next chapter of their lives. Very soon, Malcolm learns that Kisha has had a demon following her since she was little, which rears its ugly head by closing doors, moving objects and flicking the lights on and off. In what could have been the shortest film ever, Malcolm screams like a little girl with a skinned knee, running around the house packing up his stuff, and leaves his girl at the haunted house alone. I was on the floor rolling with laughter, as this would be my exact plan of action. Luckily, he can’t go anywhere since all of his money is tied up in this house, so he’s forced to come back.
When Malcolm and Kisha’s swinger friends offer no help, the couple seeks assistance from a psychic medium, played by the funny Nick Swardson, who’s more interested in getting Malcolm naked than cleaning the house of evil. Then comes David Koechner as a security system installer who’s making a Reality series pilot similar to ‘Ghost Hunters’. This is where Malcolm receives the camera set-up in the house, and we get that famous shot of a home video camera (complete with time stamp) that will detect paranormal activities. By the time Kisha is possessed by the demon, Malcolm enlists the help of his priest, Father Williams, played by the amazing Cedric the Entertainer, who kept my gut busting with laughter every time he was on screen.
From both Kisha and Malcolm getting sexually molested by the invisible demon, to getting high with the evil spirit, I laughed until I had tears. If you want a good mindless silly comedy, ‘A Haunted House’ is the perfect fix. If this is what we can expect from Marlon Wayans from now on, count me in. I can’t wait to see this again.