Blu-ray Review: A Haunted House 2

The one downside with horror films that do well is that there’s a desire for sequels fairly quickly. So it goes with horror film spoofs, as well. Scary Movie was exceptionally brilliant; the sequels that followed were fairly derivative and more pop culture spoofs than true horror film spoofs. A Haunted House was a fairly interesting spoof of the found footage genre that had about a half hour worth of material in a 90 minute setting. It made a significant amount of money, enough to warrant a sequel. And like the Scary Movie franchise, which House star Marlon Wayans also starred in, this franchise goes downhill fairly immediately in the sequel.

Malcolm (Wayans) has recovered from the events of the first film and has a new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly). He even has a new house, too. But this one also turns out to be haunted, and he has to go through even crazier shenanigans this time around.

The problem with A Haunted House 2 is that it suffers from the problem that all horror film sequels have. The film essentially repeats the same formula from the first film but with different actors. There’s new gags, and some bigger ones, but it’s the same basic formula (and conceit) of the first.

Like the first one this is a film that has a very limited amount of genuine, A-list material and it gets surrounded by a volume of gags that don’t work. Wayans is game for the task, as he’s genuinely trying, but these are variants of the same gags from the first. There’s nothing new here. The film repeats the same basic formula as the first without much variation. Unlike the Paranormal Activity franchise, which this film is an explicit parody of, there’s no growth in the film in the second film.

This is just a rehash of the first one, nothing more, much like Scary Movie 2 was an inferior sequel that aped a lot of the first one.

There’s a handful of deleted scenes and a commentary track, neither of which are super illuminating.

Universal presents A Haunted House 2. Directed by Michael Tiddes. Written by Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez. Starring Marlon Wayans, Cedric the Entertainer, Jaime Pressly. Running time: 86 minutes. Rated R. Released: August 12, 2014.

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