Review: A Haunted House
When couple Malcolm and Kisha move into their new home, both grow concerned about strange new developments: she thinks there is a ghost lurking, while he is scared that now living together, they will never have sex again.
Who’s in It?
Marlon Wayans, having worked with his brothers to create the very funny Scary Movie and other often intimated though never duplicated parodies, ventures on his own, writing, producing, and starring in this horror-comedy that he has dubbed, ‘Paranormal Black-tivity.’ Also featuring a paroled Reverend (Cedric the Entertainer), a racist security guy/ghost hunter (David Koechner), and a gay psychic (Nick Swardson).
Mr. Mayans and company were the first to make a new generation of parodies, and it’s unfortunate that they now get thrown into the mix with all the poor attempts to recreate the success of Scary Movie. He is not associated with the forthcoming fifth installment (or the prior two), and instead presents a worthy comedy whose gags last far more than 15 minutes.
With no shortage of scatological humour, drug use, gay jokes, and male rear nudity, Wayans hits some genuinely funny moments, and unlike some recent big name comedies (Ted, The Campaign, This is 40)¸this film is paced perfectly. It doesn’t drag or meander, just right with a 90-minute run time, and it doesn’t even matter if you’ve seen the horror movies they are making fun of.
It helps through some of the eye-rolling or head-shaking (did I mention there are a lot of fart jokes) that Wayans, who has also starred in Requiem for a Dream and G.I. Joe, is genuinely charming and plays it straight—his different kind of ‘playing straight’ comes at the dismay of both his curious psychic and swinger friends. For what it’s worth, Wayans bests Seth McFarland on who can make a funnier poop-on-floor joke (if you haven’t seen Ted, don’t).
Should You See It?
With such a lack of decent films that are intentional comedies (The Last Stand is quasi-intentional), it’s worth a look, and looks to be far superior than Scary Movie 5, due out in a few months.
Malcolm, investigating a noise: “If this were a movie, there would be a black woman in the theatre screaming, ‘Don’t go in there!’”