Directed by: Michael Tiddes
What Works: The original A Haunted House was an extraordinarily ugly movie. The humor of that film consistently relied on misogynistic and homophobic jokes. For the sequel much of this has been toned down or eliminated.
What Doesn’t: While A Haunted House 2 downplays the misogyny and homophobia of the previous film, it retains the racist humor. The characters of the movie constantly point out racial stereotypes, particularly the African American lead played by Marlon Wayans and his Hispanic neighbor played by Gabriel Iglesias. There are no actual jokes here, just two guys commenting on racial stereotypes of each other’s ethnicities. The moviemakers attempt to disguise how idiotic this is by having the characters laugh at their own racist remarks, as though that somehow makes it better. When A Haunted House 2 isn’t relying on racist humor it almost exclusively consists of Marlon Wayans by himself mugging for the camera. That A Haunted House 2 isn’t funny at all is no surprise but even for a Marlon Wayans picture, this film is remarkably empty. A staggering amount of A Haunted House 2 is dedicated to Wayans shrieking and flailing about and yet not doing anything. In one of the attempts at gross out humor, Wayans’ character has sex with the doll from Annabelle. The fact that the scene has an undeniable pedophilic quality isn’t the most shocking thing about it. What’s far more upsetting is that the filmmakers were so unimaginative that they reiterate this scene multiple times throughout the movie. A Haunted House 2 was marketed as a parody but it isn’t really satirizing anything. There are references to other movies but those are just a pretense for Marlon Wayans to run around screaming in between racist jokes and sexual bouts with a child’s toy.
Bottom Line: A Haunted House 2 is Marlon Wayans’ equivalent to Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2. This is more of a tax write off than a movie. It isn’t intended to entertain and it doesn’t even do that accidentally.
Episode: #526 (January 25, 2015)