‘A Haunted House’ gets mixed review

Jan 17th, 2013 | By
| Category: 2013-01-17, Entertainment, Features, Spring 2013, Top Headlines

Whoever said that film writer and actor Marlon Wayans does not belong in comedy obviously has not seen any of his work. His latest work, “A Haunted House,” hit theaters Friday making an estimated $18.8 million according to boxofficemojo.com.

Wayans, who also produced “Haunted,” is known for participating in spoofs, and this movie is no different.

I imagine that it was a difficult task to create a setting to only take place in a house, but Wayans somehow pulled it off proving that his skills go much further than just acting.

This spoof mocks what are labeled as “found footage” movies, such as “Paranormal Activity,” as it is centered on a man named Malcolm, played by Wayans, who films the strange occurrences going on in his house.

Actress Essence Atkins plays his girlfriend Kisha who has chosen to move in with him bringing along a guest with her. This guest turned out to be the ghost that’s been haunting her since she was a child.

Throughout the movie, there are incidences that disrupt the lives, sanity and home of Malcolm and Kisha, and even test their relationship a little bit.

Also making an appearance is comedian Cedric the Entertainer, who plays ex-con and priest Father Williams, comedian JB Smoove, who plays Kisha’s dad and comedian Affion Crockett, who acts as Malcolm’s dysfunctional cousin Ray-Ray.

With that powerhouse line-up, “Haunted” was bound to get some sort of laughs– and that it did. Atkins even played the part of being possessed really well.

The special effects and make-up were believable and really worked to make it feel like a horror movie–even though it’s truly just a spoof.

However, with the good comes the bad, and it starts with how slow the movie begins. Though it is supposed to be a “documentary,” it didn’t really speed up for me until the ghost got involved.

As slow as it was, there were some short, comedic genius moments before the ghost arrived. Let’s just say that I’ll never look at teddy bears the same way again or get the image of Wayans’ naked butt out of my memory.

Some characters should’ve appeared much more in the movie as they bring that sort of “umph” to it, such as Crockett’s character. When someone is truly funny the way that he is, the audience would like to spend more time with him or her.

The ending was completely rushed. It was as if Wayans didn’t know how to end it and just decided to stop filming– making it be too abrupt.

Also, as hilarious as “Haunted” was, its biggest downfall was the use of language and explicit behavior in the film.

The N-word was said more than enough times by a few characters and embodied some stereotypical behavior.

Spoiler Alert: Wayans’ Spanish maid Rosa, played by actress Marlene Forte, was a cocaine dealer for a very brief period of the movie, and there was also mention of her being an illegal alien.

I don’t know if this was part of it being a spoof, but I didn’t appreciate it. I do recognize that Wayans, along with the rest of his well-known brothers and sister, will take you to that mindset without caring, so you better be prepared when you go to see one of their movies.

But, I could’ve done without the constant use of the N-word. In my eyes, it became too much, and I don’t think Wayans understood the amount of people that may have felt uncomfortable hearing him say it.

Aside from the rushing and stereotyping, “Haunted” was a movie that people should bring their date to see. It’s definitely not a family movie, but it is one that will keep you entertained for two hours, earning it 4 out of 5 stars.

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