A Haunted House is released just before Scary Movie 5 arrives. It is a horror spoof that pokes fun on found footage. There have been a lot of found footage films today. They are usually low-budgeted and feature a cast of non-stars. This genre makes it a ripe candidate for a parody.
A Haunted House spoofs the popular Paranormal Activity series and other found and surveillance footage movies, such as Cloverfield, Chronicle, The Blair Witch Project, The Devil Inside, Project X, The Troll Hunter, The Last Exorcism, and others. Marlon Wayans serves as the movie’s co-writer, producer, and part of the cast. He plays the character Malcolm, whose girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins) just moved in with him.
Malcolm buys a new video camera to document their activities in their dream house. But the dream turns into a nightmare when they suspect the house to be haunted. It turns worse when Malcolm finds out that it is not the house but Kisha who is haunted.
Malcolm then hires a prison minister (Cedric the Entertainer) to perform an exorcism. When he fails, Malcolm turns to a sexually predatory psychic (Nick Swardson). Finally, Malcolm hires a pair of ghost hunters, played by Dave Sheridan and David Koechner. They are two paranormal investigators who are shooting their own show. They try to bring Malcolm’s life back to normal.
Wayans is a funny performer with a likeable presence but he seems to fail as an actor. A Haunted House is directed by Michael Tiddes with a script by Wayans and Rick Alvarez. Jokes are repeated and rely on juvenile bodily function humor for the laughs. It brings nothing new for the viewers.
To their credit, A Haunted House does have respectable special effects and inventive camerawork. There are also some big laughs but they are sparsely spaced from each other. Just when you thought that something is becoming satirical, it stops and sets up the next act.