Against all logic, sometimes a movie just works with the masses and then it gets a sequel that defies logic even more. "A Haunted House 2" will hardly be mistaken for high art by any stretch of the imagination but it manages to generate some genuine laughs if only because it is actually spoofing some slightly better movies then they did the first time out.
Having exorcised the demons of his ex, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) is starting fresh with his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressley) and her two children. However after moving into their dream home, Malcolm finds that the forces that torment his life have never really left and he is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.
While these movies will never even rise to any sort of memorable status inside the sub genre itself, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that "A Haunted House 2" does actually generate some genuine and legitimate laughs as it runs us through its scenario one more time.
Director Michael Tiddes and the writing team of star Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez are never going to get accused of reinventing the wheel, but there is something to be said about having the right chemistry and the right feel for the material. The narrative never gets bogged down at any one moment or linger on any one joke. It moves at a rapid fire pace, and if one joke doesn't land or evoke any kind of a reaction out of the audience it will only take a split second or so before it is trying out the next gag.
It's hardly artful filmmaking and storytelling, as I don't think throwing as many gags against the wall and seeing what sticks could be defined as a style, but for these guys it works as they successfully get the tone of the films it is making fun of. While gagging on the found footage is getting a little tired it mixes in enough fresh elements from films that people will recognize in order to keep its head above water and at least attempt to not being repeating themselves.
Make no mistake, Marlon Wayans is a very smart guy and he has a formula that works and quite frankly it works pretty darn well. He's a good anchor, simultaneously playing the straight man and the wacko all at the same time. The rest of the ensemble rotate around him as the hilarity and insanity ensue, there's hardly any character development, but seriously who needs it.
"A Haunted House 2" isn't exactly... you know...good, however it is fun enough so that you don't feel like you wasted your time 87 minutes later either.
2 out of 5 stars.
"A Haunted House 2" is now playing at theatres all across the country, please check with your local listings for show times.