The horror spoof genre has been on a downward spiral since the Scary Movie films turned lame. Last year we got Scary Movie V (which was terrible) and A Haunted House, which I didn’t enjoy, but thought it was better and funnier than SM5. I have no clue why I ventured out to the theater to see A Haunted House 2, which I was surprised even got made, but venture out I did.
The film picks up right where the first one left off, with Malcolm’s woman still possessed. After a little Devil Inside action, we jump to a year later, and Malcolm has a new woman in his life that happens to be white with two kids. You can pretty much ignore the plot because the style is for joke set piece after joke set piece.
With that said, I laughed my ass off. The scene with the dog had me rolling in the theater, and then the stuff with the doll (mocking The Conjuring) almost made me choke on my soda. I want to address something, though. I started up the original film to have something on in the background while I wrote this review, and to see if maybe I missed something, and seriously, the two films are exactly the same. The same jokes are used – with slight variations – but for some reason, it’s just funnier in the sequel.
We still have the racial jokes, and some of the later ones in the basement are pretty hysterical. Actually, most of the jokes hit just the right mark, which almost never happens. The church scene does fall completely flat, but that might be because I just don’t find Cedric the Entertainer funny. Jaime Pressly does a very nice job as Malcolm’s new lady, and though I usually don’t like him, Gabriel Iglesias is actually not too shabby here. Marlon Wayans carries the film again as Malcolm, and his girly screams still make me laugh.
The vulgar jokes are a very good reason for the “R” rating, but, this time around, we also get some mighty fine nudity. There’s a Meth Lab where all the workers are topless women. One of my favorite jokes involves some “box” confusion, and I’ll leave it at that.
I really enjoyed A Haunted House 2 more than the original, and more than most of the Scary Movie franchise. It has some reused jokes and themes, which is a let down, but the jokes work here and I felt they didn’t in the first film. For better or worse, I’m sure this series will continue because we’re in the “possession phase” of horror films, and the spoofs seem to be as cheap to make as the original films they mock.