‘A Haunted House 2’: This sequel isn’t much of a scream
A 1.5-star review of the fright-film spoof “A Haunted House 2,” writer/star Marlon Wayans’ take on suburban ghost stories.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
‘A Haunted House 2,’ with Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Cedric the Entertainer. Directed by Michael Tiddes, from a screenplay by Wayans and Rick Alvarez. 87 minutes. Rated R for crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violent images. Several theaters.
Imagine a Venn diagram charting three qualities: silly, gross and dumb. At the point where they overlap, you will find the fright-film spoof “A Haunted House 2,” a scattershot, anything-goes affair that’s unapologetically stupid. Proudly stupid. Aggressively stupid.
The film is writer/star Marlon Wayans’ take on suburban ghost stories. Putting himself at the center of that usually lily-white genre gives him a target-rich environment for broad, politically incorrect satire.
The first entry in the series gave Wayans’ upwardly mobile new homeowner a head-spinning freak show of a girlfriend. Those demons banished, he takes another shot at suburban life with his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly) and her two teenagers.
To the limited degree that the film works, it’s thanks to the all-in commitment of the cast, which includes Cedric the Entertainer returning as a serenely sinful exorcist.
The film parodies a lot of movies that deserve it (its basic framework comes from the “Paranormal Activity” series, a doll from “The Conjuring”). The script is lazy, recycling countless genre clichés rather than inventing novel twists. The jokes aren’t just painted in broad strokes, they’re applied with a roller.