Blu-ray Review: A Haunted House

When it comes to spoof films the Wayans family has been pretty solid in their last couple of ventures. After Dance Flick wound up being commercially and critically successful they have decided to turn their attention to the “found footage” style of films that have popped up recently with A Haunted House.

It’s a simple premise: Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Keisha (Essence Atkins) move into a house and start experiencing paranormal activity. From there they bring in the usual suspects, et al, to try and figure out what’s happening all the while videotaping it. It’s a loose parody of Paranormal Activity, actually, and it’s not as bad as you’d think.

It’s not a great film, of course, and it’s marginally funny as well. The film’s premise is spoofing Paranormal in a lot of ways and for the most part they do a decent job it. The Wayans are good at doing the easy joke, not the long range ones, and the ones that hit aren’t all that funny. The Wayans have certain types of humor they’re proficient in that pander to the lowest common denominator and stays there for the most part. This is a film that scrapes the bottom of the barrel for jokes and delivers what it’s expected to.

The thing is that for good chunks of the film it’s actually pretty funny.

Usually the Wayans are known for pandering to their audience but on occasion they have some fairly solid jokes. There are a number of genuinely funny jokes spread throughout the film, enough to nearly disguise the film’s volume of jokes that miss on any number of levels. It’s as if they knew they only had 30 minutes of “A” material and disguised with nearly another 60 of subpar stuff.

In comparison to Scary Movie 5 this might be the best horror spoof of the millennium.

There’s a generic making of piece but nothing else of note.

Universal Studios presents A Haunted House. Directed by Michael Tiddes. Written by Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez. Starring Marlon Wayans, Nick Swardson, Essence Atkins, David Koechner. Running time: 86 minutes. Rated R. Released: April 23, 2013. Available at

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