A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 – The Review

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In A HAUNTED HOUSE 2, writer and star Marlon Wayans has an extended sex montage with a doll similar to the one in THE CONJURING. He thrusts spastically, performing all manner of sex acts and positions on the doll, showing off to the audiences the variety of moves he likes using while having sex with dolls in a sequence that goes on and on for several minutes. If you saw the first A HAUNTED HOUSE from last year, you may recall Wayans performed an identical scene with a stuffed teddy bear. It’s funnier with the doll. Part one opened with an unfunny gag about Wayans’s dog being hit by a car and killed. Part two begins with his new dog crushed by a safe, which is a little more amusing. And so on, but I don’t want to give Wayans too much credit just for recycling stupidity slightly better. A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 is still a lousy, desperate, lowbrow comedy but I laughed two or three times which is two or three times more than I did during the first one. Perhaps the send-ups of THE CONJURING and INSIDIOUS were more clever than the ones of Paranormal Activity and CABIN IN THE WOODS from part one or maybe it was because I saw part two with a loud, receptive audience (which included Marlon Wayans himself) at a screening sponsored by a local hip hop station, but I did have a better time with the sequel. This may seem like faint praise because it is.

Wayans is a gifted comedian, but in A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 he works his schtick hard; mugging, eye-rolling and screaming in that high-pitched voice, to squeeze out just a couple of laughs. The humor aims low with scatological, fart and crude sex references aplenty and it gets tiresome fast (okay – the gag about Forrest Whitaker’s lazy eye was good) but at least its misogynistic/homophobic streak isn’t quite as mean-spirited as its predecessor. Neither Nick Swardson’s gay psychic nor David Koechner’s racist home security expert return for the sequel though Cedric the Entertainer’s ex-con priest is back and Gabriel Iglasias pops up as a Latino neighbor for some ethnic gags. The found-footage horror film may have seemed ripe for parody a couple of years ago but by now the gimmick has done a decent job of parodying itself. Spoof movies don’t have to be lame timewasters and the genre can have its merits when done right but A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 isn’t one of those times.

(a generous) 1 1/2 of 5 Stars


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