A Haunted House 2 (2014)

hauntedhouse2posterBy: Bill Arceneaux (Six Pack) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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About a week and a half prior to the writing of this review, I was given the opportunity to attend an advance screening of A Haunted House 2, to be followed by a Q&A with the one, the only, Marlon Wayans. “Unfortunately”, at the same time at another theater in town, there was a screening of the new Captain America flick. Not wanting to disappoint my brother who would be accompanying me, I chose Marvel over Marlon. This was not a choice I regret.

Of course, this was merely delaying the inevitable.

Without MoviePass to back me up, and no theater credits to use, I paid cash to see a movie that opens with a man wanting to finger bang an unconscious woman. * I should note that, from what I could tell, I was the only area critic at the Marvel showing, but a few did show up to see Marlon *

What kind of man makes such a movie? What kind of man watches such a movie?

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Oh, I meant who. WHO!

A Toast

Maybe I should skip this one, but I’ll give credit where credit is due. There was ONE gag that was kinda funny. It involved the parody of Bagul (from Sinister) – named AGhoul (get it?) – trying to kill a family, but failing horribly, time after time, in some old grainy footage. It was shot and, for the most part, staged to simulate the movie it was making fun of fairly well.

Though, it does beg the question: someone on the set knew what they were doing and DIDN’T speak up?

Beer Two

I can’t recall where I read it, but I think there is an interview of Marlon Wayans describing his brand of comedy. Something along the lines of showing how black people would act in these crazy scenarios. Dave Chappelle once did a skit where a straight laced white guy joined a season of The Real World, accompanied only by extreme black people. It was prefaced by Chappelle pointing out how these reality shows are typically executed to present only the stereotypical nature of races. See, he was taking the piss out of the situation through a reversal of expectations and outlandish comedy.

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What I’d like to do to the producers of A Haunted House 2.

How does Marlon Wayans “take the piss out”? He doesn’t. Well, he may have tasted some piss in the movie…

The context of his comedy is of a loud crazy person, surrounded by other loud crazy people, speaking in blunt force dialogue, without a hint of self restraint or awareness. This is not commentary. Didn’t Dave Chappelle, in an interview with a magazine, say that he quit his show and took some time off because people were taking his jokes in the wrong way? This concerns me, too.

Beer Three

At one point in the movie, Marlon writes some thoughts on paper. One of these remarked how the Scary Movie series should stop, now that The Wayans are no longer involved. “Those movies suck.” OHHHHHHHH – see, Marlon is the people’s champion, speaking for the common man, and giving the world REAL spoof comedy.

Poor Leslie Nielsen.

Beer Four

Did you see the first A Haunted House? There was a scene that’s *shock* repeated in the sequel, that not only shows a sharp difference in style, but also a drop in quality – believe it or not.

In the first one (I refuse to use the word “original”), Marlon has sex with a stuffed animal. In the sequel, he has sex with a creepy porcelain doll. That first sequence was done because his character was excited at the prospect of having sex with a real woman, and was getting himself started. In the sequel, he just spots the doll and starts pumping, flicking, licking, stroking, etc.

From the barest of setups to a void as deep as The Grand Canyon. Wow.

Beers Five and Six

What does all of this mean? The tone deafness and misguidedness of his comedy, the high and mighty attitude, the drop in quality – how about one more to the list? How about…. PURE INSANITY!

The first movie was infuriating, yes, but I never once felt I was diving behind the eyes of someone who needs treatment. This sequel recalls the disturbing video diaries of the Bjork stalker. Wide eyes, goofy faces, lines written and spoken with no sense, non-stop energy – I’M SERIOUS! This might be a cry for help. I actually considered calling 911 near the end of the screening.

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Real footage, or Marlon Wayans acting? You decide.

Verdict

Six Pack

What kind of man watches such a movie? I have a good excuse, folks: I’m a critic. What kind of man makes such a movie? Marlon has no excuse: He’s NOT a comedian. Well, unless you consider Dane Cook a comedian.

If I had been at that Q&A, I would’ve handed Mr. Wayans a note with a good therapist listed on it. Discretely, of course. No need to shout one’s problems off of a screen, right?

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for the first, how about… five instances of bowel movements and sexual noises. Do NOT exceed.

Take a Drink: if you asked where Keenan Ivory was.

Do a Shot: because people like Marlon Wayans shouldn’t fall into the Obamacare gap. Expand Medicaid NOW!

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

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