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:: A Haunted House

It seems like Hollywood is obsessed with making the perfect ‘horror parody’ film. This is a little strange due to the fact that the perfect ‘horror parody’ film actually surfaced way back in the year 2000 with the hilarious ‘Scary Movie.' It’s just been a shame that the films that try to recreate that magic (even the other films in the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise) have really failed miserably.

Now comes ‘A Haunted House’ a movie that, unlike ‘Scary Movie 5’ decides to focus on sending up one series of horror films – the popular ‘Paranormal Activity’ series. Early on ‘A Haunted House’ actually works, yes the humor might be childish but it will in fact produce a couple of chuckles, but then the second half of the film just descends into the same unfunny jokes that the many other supposed ‘horror parody’ films have forced onto audiences over the last couple of years.

Like the ‘Paranormal Activity’ series, ‘A Haunted House’ revolves around a couple – this time it is Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) who believes his life is about to get so much better now his girlfriend, Kisha (Essence Atkins) is about to move in with him. He’s hoping that his obsession with filming everything will lead to some very raunchy footage indeed but his new daydream is shattered within seconds of Kisha arriving when she accidentally runs over and kills his dog.

From there, everything seems to goes wrong, something paranormal seems to be happening or is it just that the housekeeper Rosa (Marlene Forte) is untrustworthy. Soon, a tonne of characters are sent in to help out – the mentally unstable and sometimes racist Dan the Security Man (David Koechner), the outrageously homosexual Chip The Psychic (Nick Swardson), the trash talking Father Williams (Cedric The Entertainer), gang-banger Ray Ray (Affion Crockett) and full-on swingers Steve (Andrew Daly) and Jenny (Alanna Ubach).

Early on, writers Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez seem to get things right. The comedy centers around all the fears that males have when a female is going to move in with them and to its credit, the comedy is smooth and it works – especially the gag about Kisha believing that Malcolm might be having a kind of Arnold Schwarznegger style relationship with the maid, Rosa.

But the film then falls into the trap of trying to go right over the top, and soon it’s blatant sex jokes become too much. That surely will be a turn off for most audience members and then unfortunately the film then further degrades itself with a weak ending that really only serves to let down anybody that find themselves interested in this film at the beginning.

To his credit, Marlon Wayans is actually okay in this film and at times it seems that he is carrying the film a lot of the time, even when he is being let down by some very, very weak gags. As was the case with ‘Scary Movie 5,’ it also seems that the ‘stars’ of this film are outclassed by the sub-cast with Nick Swardson and David Koechner easily stealing every scene they are in.

While ‘A Haunted House’ is easily better than most of the ‘parody horror’ films that have been surfacing recently, it sadly lets itself it down and eventually becomes a bore for the audience to watch.