January 12, 2013 by Vinnie Leduc
In the beginning, you’ll think, “Sh!t, this is gonna be bad,” as the film seems more grounded and tamer than what you’d expect from a Wayans vehicle at the expense of the trademark ridiculousness. However, it improves overall mostly due to some over-the-top gags that’ll have you rolling with laughter. The great thing about A Haunted House is that in some cases it shows how normal people (i.e., people who aren’t beyond stupidly curious and/or blindly stubborn) would probably react in situations where they’re dealing with a ghost or poltergeist. Like GTFO already! In moments where the characters here do act like the idiots in Paranormal Activity, the satire is hit or miss. One of my favorites has to be a sequence modeled after the oscillating fan camera in the second Paranormal Activity prequel.
Marlon Wayans is typical Marlon Wayans; his performance is loaded with girlish screaming, sexual antics, and Jim Carrey-like facial contortions. Atkins complements him well enough as his onscreen girlfriend, and supporting appearances from comedy vets Nick Swardson, David Koechner, and Cedric the Entertainer breathe some life into the spoof. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking from the cast.
A Haunted House could easily have been mistaken for just another Scary Movie. Nearly matching the raunchiness of the first pair of Wayans-featuring Scary Movies but more comparable to the last couple in terms of quality, A Haunted House is a tale of two stories. When it’s funny, it’s LOL hilarious. But when it’s not, the jokes drag on for way too long. Rent this House (and stay for the extra scenes during the credits), but don’t commit to owning it. A Haunted House gets 2 out of 5 stars.