“A Haunted House” is scary alright.
It’s scary as hell that anyone ever thought that this offensive piece of garbage would be funny.
Vulgar, racist, contemptible, nauseating, dim-witted, and ultimately pitiable, “A Haunted House” makes a strong early bid at Worst Movie of 2013.
There isn’t much need for a plot summary in regards to “A Haunted House”. It’s a parody film of the “Paranormal Activity” series, with a side serving of “The Devil Inside”. As such, it follows the basic framework of a possessed girlfriend, who moves into her boyfriend’s house, who in turn then sets up a barrage of surveillance cameras in an attempt to further understand the events that are transpiring.
However, the things that transpire in this case aren’t just of the comedic, supernatural parody variety, there are also graphic sexual situations, racism, homophobia, drug use, flatulation, defecation, urination, and vomit. I know, I know, how did I NOT find that funny?
Yes, the creative talents behind this movie seem intent on finding comedy at the bottom of the vulgar barrel, regardless of how deeply they have to dig. For example, there’s a scene where Wayons character, excited by the possibilities inherent in having a video camera set up in his bedroom while he and his girlfriend have sex, gets carried away while she gets ready by pretending to get it on with the stuffed animals in the room. While that might not sound like the worst comedic concept ever, it’s the persistence that makes it nauseating. I think you’d have to cross reference the Kama Sutra in order to find positions he missed. It goes a good two, three minutes, easily. He goes at it so enthusiastically that I swear, somewhere there must be a stuffed animal fetishist community that will hail this movie as their holy grail.
My problems certainly aren’t limited to a single scene, and that’s actually probably one of the movie’s funnier moments (which isn’t to say it was funny, mind you). I just want to use it to illustrate the commitment to their bad jokes they use here. Yeah, if they don’t make you laugh when one of the couple rips an atomic fart, maybe they’ll get you if one of them actually defecates on the floor. If you’re not laughing at their swinger friends propositioning them, maybe they’ll get you if they show the swingers having a gang bang. The fact that you’re not laughing isn’t going to deter this film from pushing through on their intended course of being graphic, raunchy, crude and lewd in the pursuit of humor.
Of course, none of the cast is remotely capable of turning this crass garbage into gold. Marlon Wayons and Essence Atkins are completely flat in the lead, and their supporting team of Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Sheridan, David Koechner, and Nick Swardson leaves a lot to be desired. With the exception of Cedric, none of them that are very funny people, especially in the absence of strong material. Collectively, they come across as a D list roster, culled together to make a cheap movie on the fly.
“A Haunted House” “spoofs” the source material in a gross and vulgar manner as opposed to finding anything remotely resembling clever satire, the laughs are few and far between, if any.
Like most haunted houses, it will leave you wanting to “Get Out”.