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Marlon Wayans revisits horror humor in 'A Haunted House 2'

Marlon Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Open Road Films

The horror comedy “A Haunted House 2” is the sequel to the 2013 box-office hit “A Haunted House,” starring Marlon Wayans as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex-girlfriend, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend (played by Jaime Pressly) and her two children. After moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events. “A Haunted House 2” is inspired by the latest supernatural horror movie franchises and shows that this time, it’s not just the house that’s haunted. Here is what Wayans (who co-wrote the “A Haunted House” movies) said at a press conference for “A Haunted House 2.”

Marlon Wayans at the Los Angeles premiere of "A Haunted House 2"
Getty Images

“A Haunted House 2” has even crazier things than the first “A Haunted House” movie. Can you talk about that?

You can’t try to force crazy. Crazy kind of comes. Dare I say, it should come from an organic place. Actually, the way we approached the movie was story first, which is bizarre. So as we were approaching doing the story, and we were thinking about character progressions and who he can encounter in this one, how we can make the well of comedy different, all of a sudden, we were watching these movies, and it goes in our computer, and out come these sick, sick things.

It’s not just my fault. I want to blame my writing partner and producer Rick Alvarez. I’m just taking the bullets for us. But I don’t think your approach can go, “I want to be crazier! I want to be wilder!” Because you couldn’t get wilder than the [first “A Haunted House” movie]. We had a ghost rape! You can’t beat ghost rape!

This one [“A Haunted House 2” is a little bit more grounded but more cartoony. I like Malcolm’s unraveling, and that’s what makes it fun. It just comes from a natural place of him having to deal with all these obstacles in his way.

Malcolm has taken on a step-parenting role to his girlfriend’s kids. He didn’t have a parental role in the first “A Haunted House” movie. What can you say about that big change?

Do you see my maturity? Did you see we only had one flatulence scene in the home? Think about this: a Wayans film with just one flatulence scene. One! That’s growth! And I’m a father!

There was a lot of things we put in there; the thought of it made me and Rick laugh. The kid having an imaginary friend, like they have in all these movies, but he’s the worst imaginary friend ever. That just makes me laugh: the idea of a ghoul trying to kill these guys, it never works. It always backfires on him.

I’m trying to mature, but I’m always going to be a 15-year-old prepubescent boy. I just try to have fun. Those are your fun years. You’re just like, “I don’t give a hell. You’re just going to let loose and laugh at everything. I’m not worried about bills.” I want the audience to feel that when they come to the movies. I want them to feel like a 15-year-old going to see their first R-rated film and just go, “This is fun!”

One of the crazier scenes in “A Haunted House” 2 is when Malcolm has sex with a doll …

That was a lot of fun. I was like, “I need one more take! We need one more! I’m not done yet!” The doll loved it!

You also poked fun at the Kardashians. Did you have more jokes about the Kardashians that didn’t make it into “A Haunted House 2”?

I could’ve done a whole script about the Kardashians. Actually, I think the whole run was a little bit longer. We pared it down. We did it around the time that Lamar [Odom, Khloe Kardashian’s then-husband] started smoking crack, so we did that. And then we missed the whole divorce thing. And the whole Kanye rant. We missed all that.

Can you talk about all the physical comedy that you had to do?

The physical is fun to do. I’m a big fan of physical comedy. I’ve always been, since I was a child. I grew up watching Abbott & Costello, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Jim Carrey, Jerry Lewis. I’m a fan of guys who, when you put them in a regular situation, and their reactions, because of the real situation, just goes to a cartoony place. But it’s based on something that’s a real reaction that you would have, but it’s just that those people come across as cartoony.

Any other actor in “Liar Liar,” to me, doesn’t hit the same levels. Jim reacting the way he reacted, you forgave it because it came out of truth and the complications of the situation. So I like the physical element to it, because it takes the joke to somewhere different.

Like watching Richard Pryor, the comedian. He would tell you the joke, but then he would animate it. And when he animated it, you laughed two times harder or three times harder when he animated it. And sometimes, he would do a character or do a voice, and it just made it that much funnier. It gave it five dimensions instead of two.

For more info: "A Haunted House 2" website

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