A HAUNTED HOUSE. 2013. DIRECTED BY MICHAEL TIDDES. STARRING MARLON WAYANS, ESSENCE ATKINS, CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER, NICK SWARDSON, DAVID KOECHNER AND DAVE SHERIDAN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I’ll be honest with you guys. I wasn’t expecting too much from this film. I kind of hated the Wayans brothers’ earlier film, SCARY MOVIE (2000), and I guess I assumed that A HAUNTED HOUSE wouldn’t be up to much either. But I was wrong. It’s actually pretty funny.
Just like SCARY MOVIE is a spoof on Wes Craven’s SCREAM (1996), A HAUNTED HOUSE takes the mickey big-time out of ‘found footage’ films like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and THE DEVIL INSIDE. Malcolm, played by Marlon Wayans, is all excited because his cute-as-a-button girlfriend Keisha is moving in with him.
What Malcolm doesn’t know, however, is that the lovely Keisha once made a deal with the devil for a pair of Louboutins. Don’t even bother to try and understand this, guys. It’s a gal-slash-shoes thing. The bad news for the loved-up couple is that the demon with whom she made this hellish deal is back and he wants his pound of flesh, if not from Keisha then from Malcolm. Preferably from both, haha.
All sorts of ‘paranormal activity’ is going on in their swish apartment. Doors are slamming shut all by themselves, pots and pans are flying around the place willy-nilly and the demon is engaging with sexual relations with Keisha in the night. Yes, the demon likes sex. A lot. And smoking the odd joint. The disturbed couple set up a load of cameras in the flat and the things they capture on film are just… Well…! Let’s just say they have to be seen to be believed. They even have to get the Ghostbusters in…
Highlights include a horrified Malcolm accidentally uploading his butt-rape by the demon to the Internet, Keisha’s possession by the demon and subsequent exorcism by priest/ex-convict Father Williams, aka Cedric The Entertainer, and the swinging couple’s ‘Mandingo party.’ (Their words, not mine…!) And make sure you check out what Rosa the ‘Hispanic’ maid gets up to when she has Malcolm’s flat to herself…
You’ll also most likely laugh at Keisha’s walking the (dead) dog while possessed by the demon, Malcolm’s extreme-to-the-max sexual shenanigans with his teddy bears and Chip the Psychic’s blatantly obvious attempts to get the painfully straight Malcolm into bed. All the sex, and there’s quite a lot of it, is hilariously over-the-top. And, just like in SCARY MOVIE, there’s a liberal helping of toilet humour, racial humour and drug-related humour, so you can decide for yourself which, if any, of these is your bag.
There are nods to other horror films here too, again as in SCARY MOVIE. We’ve got THE EXORCIST, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and also THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, as well as PARANORMAL ACTIVITY itself, of course. (Have you seen THE SIMPSONS’ spoof of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY…? It’s in one of their TREEHOUSE OF HORROR episodes and it’s flippin’ hilarious too.)
Okay, so this isn’t exactly HALLOWEEN or THE WICKER MAN or POLTERGEIST, but it’s good fun and, in my ever-so-humble opinion, cleverly enough scripted to hold the viewer’s attention for eighty-something minutes. So if you’re looking for a good horror comedy that won’t require that you concentrate too hard on the ins-and-outs of the plot twists, then A HAUNTED HOUSE might just do the job. If that’s not what you’re after, however, then maybe shelve this one for another day…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY