The only good thing I have to say about A Haunted House is its willingness to spoof just one film, rather than the attention deficient spoof films of the last decade or so, which essentially just make jokes out of whatever films happen to be popular at the time in rapid fire. This film takes its time, allowing a little more confidence in the material and the film’s performers. Unfortunately, they never deliver, but I appreciated the simplicity and sincerity of the attempt much more than the spoofs which feel as though they were written by a dozen unemployed comedians who watch too many movies.
The main point that seems to come across in all of the jokes in A Haunted House is that Marlon Wayans believes that everyone wants to sleep with him. I’m joking, of course, but sincerely found myself dumbfounded by the number of jokes within the film which have to do with characters coming into the home and hitting on Malcolm (Wayans), the homeowner who has a ghost problem with the arrival of his demon-possessed girlfriend, Kisha (Essence Atkins). Whether it’s his best friend trying to get him to girlfriend swap, a gay ghost specialist (Nick Swardson) or any number of other visitors, they all seem to want a piece of Malcolm. Even the ghost eventually has its way with Wayans.
The jokes don’t have time to get old, but the biggest problem is that there isn’t a lot of difference between the jokes. Nearly all of the jokes are sex related, and when that fails then the film turns to racism as the next humor point. Much of the film is not terrible as much as it is simply unimaginative. It almost feels as though there was no more than a rough script for the film when filming began, perhaps even as the scenes were being filmed. Improvisation can work both ways, to help a film or to send it spiraling in no direction.
The Blu-ray includes a DVD and an Ultraviolet copy of the film as well. The special features include a humorous “How to Survive a Paranormal Presence” featurette.
Entertainment Value: 3/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 2/10
Historical Significance: 2/10
Disc Features: 2/10