A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 // After having five “Scary Movie” horror parodies thrown at us, the biggest fear now is that “A Haunted House” will become a franchise. The first film was an answer to the “Paranormal Activity” craze, basically just changing the name of the parodies and letting Marlon Wayans step out on his own to make fun of that one set of Blumhouse found footage films. “A Haunted House 2,” however, ends up in the same exact territory as the previous parody franchise, as it attempts to mock several horror films like “The Conjuring”, “Sinister”, and “Insidious”. At the beginning of the film, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) believes that his possessed girlfriend from the first film, Kisha (Essence Atkins), has died in a car accident and has moved on. He now finds himself moving in with his new white girlfriend, Megan (Jaime Pressly), and her son (Steele Stebbins) and daughter (“Awkward” star Ashley Rickard), to whom he is constantly making remarks on the difference between the color of their skin.
The best moments of “A Haunted House 2” are Malcolm’s completely committed freak outs, where his high pitched shrill takes front and center. The worst moments are the terrible gags that wear out their welcome almost immediately and just become painfully depressing, like Malcolm’s inexplicable affair with the Annabelle doll from “The Conjuring”. The great irony of the film is that these childish jokes would probably work great for young teens who still laugh at fart jokes, but with an R-rating, it remains just out of their reach. Adding Gabriel Iglesias to fill the film’s quota of racist Hispanic jokes, it is blatantly apparent that the film is cashing in on that particular demographic. “A Haunted House 2” feels completely unnecessary on almost every level, containing zero originality as far as parodies go and setting racism back by a couple of decades. The main difference between this and the “Scary Movie” craze is that those films started off with a following and demand slowly burned off along with the quality, while “A Haunted House” started off with so very little quality and demand to begin with, yet keeps limping along. Hopefully it is put out of its (and our) misery.
[Directed by Michael Tiddes] [R] [86 min] [18 April 2014]