It’s hard to review a film like “A Haunted House 2” for all the usual critical categories collapse when faced with a film of this nature.
With a plot just there to hold together a series of skits filled with jokes, it’s all about the script and casting.
Written and produced by Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez and directed by Michael Tiddes, “A Haunted House 2” takes place a year after the first film. Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) has moved on and has left his girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins) who we saw in the first film for a ‘white chick’ called Megan (Jaime Pressly). When we first meet him, he’s moving into a new home with Megan and her two kids played by Ashley Rickards and Steele Stebbins and it isn’t long before he finds himself in a perfect storm of paranormal activity and is once again plagued by bizarre occurrences in the home.
In addition to Wayans, returning from the first film are Essence Atkins, Dave Sheridan, Cedric the Entertainer and Affion Crockett who reprises his role as Malcolm’s comical cousin Ray-Ray.
Like its predecessor, there’s a string of crude gags, and as usual Marlon finds any excuse to show various male organs and bodily functions. There is a sex scene with the creepy doll from “The Conjuring” which they discover in their new home that plays ten minutes too long and a wild exaggeration of stereotypical behavior. Black men dating white women jokes, black people loving chicken jokes and every Latino stereotype you can think of. No race or stereotype is safe in this movie, but it’s all in good humor for that’s a Wayans specialty.
To get your money’s worth, you need to be familiar with recently released horror flicks such as “The Conjuring,” “Sinister,” “Possession” and “Insidious” as it lifts scenes from these movies, adds a joke or two, and crafts a whole new movie from them.
At times the film is uproariously funny and the biggest laugh I had were the scenes involving Cedric the Entertainer who briefly returns as Father Williams, the dubious priest who became a man of the cloth while serving a 20 year jail sentence. In one scene he riffs that he became a Catholic priest for the “boys” and in another says he’s started a new clothing line called “Jesus Pieces.”
Like all spoofs, if you have seen the movies they are spoofing you will get the jokes but even if you haven’t, you will still find yourself laughing.
With audacious punch lines, over-the-top gags and unapologetic humor, it only seeks mindless fun and entertainment, and it succeeds at that level. I found myself laughing quite a bit at “A Haunted House 2.”
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