Dorian Hargrove 12:47 p.m., May 19
Review: A Haunted House
The Wayans family withdrew from the Scary Movie franchise after the second installment. With SM5 just around the corner, series co-creator Marlon Wayans decided to beat the Weinsteins to the draw with a Paranormal parody of his own.
His scheme paid off. SM5, set to open last Friday, pushed back its release date to April 12. A Haunted House came in at #2 this weekend with an impressive $18.8 million.
Upon moving into the title abode, Wayans purchases a video camera and promises girlfriend Essence Atkins that he’s going to “film everything: Christmas, New Year’s, vagina.”
One of the first images Wayans' camcorder captures is the imprint of Atkins’ rear tire just moments after it ran over his pooch’s head. Don't worry. The gross-outs have just begun.
A most imaginative (and very funny) sight gag soon cleans the air. Wayans reimagines Paranormal Activity godhead Orin Peli’s shape-shifting, sheet-fluffing specter as his galpal’s blanket-ballooning nocturnal flutter-blasts.
The cast of hedonistic house guests includes a gay psychic (Nick Swardson), a determined couple of swingers (Alanna Ubach and Andrew Daly), a “Mandingo party” that puts Tarantino’s to shame, and a surprisingly flat Cedric the Entertainer in the role made famous by Max Von Sydow.
Worth seeing for Essence Atkins who alternates between comic underplaying and demonic flamboyance with the greatest of ease. Certainly not for everyone, but I must confess to chuckling at a few of the film’s baser moments. Michael Tiddes directs.
Reader Rating: One Star