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Haunted house of pain

April 17, 2014|By Sean Ely, @theseanwow

“A Haunted House 2”

R

.5 out of 4 stars

Earning a 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer for “A Haunted House” just wasn’t enough for Marlon Wayans. Just 15 months later, he’s back with the “Paranormal Activity”-spoofing “A Haunted House 2,” which seems to exist solely to shoot for a lower rating.

Malcolm (Wayans) moves into a beautiful residential neighborhood with his girlfriend (Jaime Pressly) and her two children. Obviously, hauntings begin to spring up all over the property. And what do ya know, his possessed ex-girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins) from “A Haunted House” and her demon brain have returned to make matters even worse.

We soon learn that a creepy wooden doll left in the house by previous tenants holds supernatural powers, and is slowly wreaking havoc on Malcolm and his family. It’s also not long before Malcolm begins having sex with the doll in a dozen different positions, leaving the audience gasping in confusion and disgust.

Those laughing—I’m assuming—were watching YouTube videos on their phones at the time.

The movie’s “found” footage supposedly comes from 20 separate security cameras, cellphones and webcams, which Malcolm reviews nightly. As a video editor, I’m overly critical about how ridiculous of a concept that is, but I let that slide.

What I couldn’t push past, though: the mundane, immature bathroom humor. The cheapest way for a comedian to get laughs—or just a reaction in general—is to defecate on something. And Wayans certainly doesn’t hold back. Splice in jokes about African Americans who love fried chicken, Mexicans as skilled landscapers and priests molesting children, and you’ve got the full range of this movie’s comedic brilliance.

Co-stars Gabriel Iglesias and Affion Crockett, two of my favorite funny people to watch on YouTube, could have provided a bright spot, but “A Haunted House 2” doesn’t utilize what makes them individually funny, and their performances are painfully forced.

The whole thing felt like a 90-minute YouTube spoof without the time bar at the bottom. If it had been, I would have been glancing at it every few seconds.

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