Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Haunted House Movie Review – Stick with the Scary Movie Franchise

Length: 86 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: January 11, 2013
Director: Michael Tiddes

"A Haunted House" opens with Malcolm (Marlon Wayans, "Scary Movie") welcoming the arrival of his girlfriend Kisha. On the day she moves in with him, she accidentally runs over his dog. He then sets up a few cameras around the house, and the couple notices some paranormal activity happening. After hiring a security expert who installs more cameras, the activity increases.

It all leads up to Kisha becoming possessed by an unknown entity. Malcolm arranges for a priest and a television crew to come to the house to perform an exorcism and possibly help his girlfriend. Somehow, this is all supposed to be hilarious.

"A Haunted House" does a fairly good job of spoofing the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, but then again, it's easy to poke fun at that series. The movie does have a few truly funny moments, but I only laughed out loud maybe twice throughout the whole movie. If you've seen "30 Days of Paranormal Activity...," then you might find yourself comparing the two films. When Malcolm and Kisha smoked pot, and the ghost started smoking with them, I actually turned to my friend and asked if he remembered seeing the exact same scene in that flick.

I was actually surprised when I heard that a sequel was in the works. The "Scary Movie" franchise was funny because it made fun of those moments in other films that we rolled our eyes at and cringed about while watching. With this movie, there aren't nearly as many laughs. It's been years now since the first "Paranormal Activity," and this one doesn't stray too far from that film. When you watch "Scary Movie," you pick up on moments from multiple films, but this one tries too hard to make fun of a single movie.

The other problem is that it feels rushed. I don't mean the story, which actually seems to drag at times, but rather the production. The producers clearly wanted to get this one out by the time "Scary Movie 5" landed in theaters, and I can't help feeling that the other film is better. My friends and I are still quoting a few scenes from that film, while I can barely remember watching this one.

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