At the beginning of this unapologetically stupid sequel to A Haunted House, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) gets rid of his possessed ex-girlfriend (Essence Atkins) and moves in with Megan (Jaime Presly) and her out-of-control teen daughter (Ashley Rickards) and tween son (Steele Stebbins). As soon as Malcolm rigs the house with hidden cameras, the found-footage-style paranormal occurrences begin: A doll straight out of The Conjuring seduces and stalks Malcolm, a talking box starts spewing bugs, and the demon from Sinister shows up to do some weird, menacing stuff.
The actual ghosts — and there are a lot of them — aren’t the real villains here. The real bad guy is Wayans, the star and writer, for assaulting us with witless, gratuitous visuals and pointlessly offensive gags. Malcolm doesn’t just dismember one family dog, he defiles another (and then does the same to a chicken). He gives us way too many flashes of his naked butt and runs through the gamut of easy-target would-be yucks: N-word jokes, Mexican jokes, prison-rape jokes, scat jokes, pedophilic priest jokes, slut-shaming jokes. I’m just getting started.
You don’t walk into a movie like A Haunted House 2 expecting anything remotely scary or serious, but you don’t expect to walk out feeling a terrible sense of dread, either. D