A Haunted House star and cowriter Marlon Wayans was one of the early mainstays of the hugely successful Scary Movie franchise. And this project harkens back to the initial days of the oughties spoof craze, when screenwriters actually lampooned film genres rather than whatever the hell happened to catch their eye on YouTube as they sought inspiration. With Wayans and Essence Atkins playing a couple whose video camera-filled home is possessed by a ghost, the main target here is obviously the Paranormal Activity franchise, and entertaining hay is made from the proposition that, if the series had starred African-Americans, they would have being trying to get the hell out of Dodge at the first sign of supernatural shenaniganery. But the film also aims arrows at The Devil Inside, The Blair Witch Project, and American Horror Story, while able-ish support is supplied by David Koechner as a racist reality show wannabe; Nick Swardson, who plays a gay clairvoyant; and Cedric the Entertainer, who portrays an ex-con priest. If the result features around 1,783 too many fart gags, to be fair, it also boasts a couple of genuine minor scares. Although there?s no doubt that the film?s most horrible sight is a way-too-long shot of Swardson?s naked rump. B-
A HAUNTED HOUSE Marlon Wayans and Nick Swarsdon (Will McGarry)
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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