Exorcise your right to avoid this flaccid and incoherent sequel. A Haunted House 2 (2014)


Oh boy. When will I learn? Looking back, I enjoyed the first “A Haunted House” enough to give it a (with hindsight generous) 6/10 so I was actually looking forward to this sequel. That’s the real horror of this exceedingly poor succession of hit and miss gags, most of which miss by a mile.

Whereas the first one was at least a reasonably focussed spoof of the “Paranormal Activity” series, this sequel sets its sights on “Sinister” and “Anabelle” but beyond a few mildly mirthsome slapstick jokes at the expense of the home movie gimmick of “Sinister” there’s little to crack a smile here. The proxy doll from “Anabelle” is subjected to the most ludicrous sex scene since “Team America: World Police” and an attempt to replicate the freewheeling, escalating insanity of the Peter Griffin v Giant Chicken fights from “Family Guy” falls frustratingly, flaccidly short. Instead, the coarse and uninspired script relies on over-extended interminable Wayan schtick to fill in the gaps while it persists with the uneccessary and annoying ‘found footage’ approach. Still, those scenes of setting up or explaining why there are cameras everywhere are handy for padding out a few more minutes of screen time.

I still like Marlon Wayans as a performer but there’s just so little for him to work with here that he’s left floundering while the rest of the cast, including Jaime Pressly and Missi Pyle are wasted in underdeveloped and underutilised roles.

At one point, Wayans’ character makes a fourth-wall-breaking crack asking when ‘they’ are going to stop making “Scary Movie” sequels without the Wayans. At least they managed a couple of half-decent sequels before they sunk to the same level as this. The only thing I’m haunted by is the thought they might yet make a third one.