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A Haunted House (BLU-RAY)

A Haunted House

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 26 Minutes
Holy Batman!

Director Tim Burton cast Marlon Wayans to play the role of Robin in 1992's Batman Returns.  The character was bumped from the film and after Burton left the franchise Chris O'Donnell was cast as Robin by new director Joel Schumacher for Batman Forever.  Wayans still receives residual checks for signing on for the role.

Like the majority of parody films starring Marlon Wayans, A Haunted House mainly consists of raunchy comedy and tired gags.  After a breakthrough dramatic role in Darren Aronofsky's 2000 film Requiem for a Dream, Wayans seems content to dial it in with comedic roles.  Likewise, A Haunted House joins White Chicks and Little Man on the shortlist of movies to avoid at all costs.

Our story begins with Malcolm (Marlon Wayans, Scary Movie) helping his girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins, TV's Are We There Yet) move into his house.  Kisha freaks out when her keys are moved from their original location, so naturally the couple has to fill the home with security cameras to figure out what is going on.  Fearing that their home may be haunted, the couple hires numerous people including a pair of ghost hunters (one of which is David Koechner, Anchorman), a priest (Cedric the Entertainer, Barbershop), and a psychic (Nick Swardson, 30 Minutes or Less) to investigate the spooky disturbances.
Spoofing on the popular Paranormal Activity franchise, A Haunted House fails on every level.  Unless you're a 13 year old boy who enjoys an abundance of fart jokes and an extended scene of Wayans having simulated sex with stuffed animals, this film will not be your cup of tea.  The rare humorous moments overstay their welcome and could have been greatly improved in the editing room.  There is no denying the talents of Wayans especially when it comes to physical comedy.  However, like Adam Sandler, Wayans regulates himself to terrible roles in self-produced projects.  Koechner and Swardson play funny supporting roles, but their screen time is unfortunately limited.

The back of the Blu-Ray case boasts of a bonus feature entitled "How to Survive a Paranormal Presence.” The case doesn’t reveal that the feature is only two minutes in length.  Much like the film, the feature is a waste of time.  Product placement is another drawback especially when it comes to the video game Saints Row the Third.  Apparently Malcolm is such a fan of the game that he hung up a promotional poster in nearly every room of his house.  Oddly enough, THQ (the publisher of the game) filed for bankruptcy before the film even hit theatres.  If you come across A Haunted House, leave it abandoned.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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