#REVIEW – “A HAUNTED HOUSE”
Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery, but Parody is the ultimate proof you’ve made it. Since its debut in 2009, Paranomal Activity has changed the face of Film with Moviegoers time and time again unable to resist the authentic feel of “found-footage” Horrors. To date, the Franchise worldwide has grossed over $718 million and it would appear with the demand plateauing for Films of the Genre, this has paved the way for a secondary Market. After a v. successful debut at the Box Office south of the Border, Paranormal Activity Spoof A Haunted House now sets it sights northward with a Canadian release.
Wayans teams-up with Comedic Veteran Essence Atkins to star as a Couple, Malcolm and Kisha, who live in a House haunted by a Ghost, which they confirm upon reviewing footage taken as they follow one another around obsessively with their Video Camera. Although initially they are unconvinced this presence is in fact a Ghost, they both soon are Believers as it welcomes itself as third member in the Relationship – a feat which some in the Movie try so hard but are unable to accomplish, including a naughty couple of Swingers (Andrew Daly and Alanna Ubach) and a sex-crazed gay Psychic (Nick Swardson). Yes, a true mixed bag here of Characters here. Now we’ve seen what happens to the Couple in Paranormal Activity – will there be in casualties here, we wonder?
A Haunted House is laughably offensive and anyone walking-in expecting anything different, simply will have a Novel’s worth of reasons to hate it. First-time Feature Director Michael Tiddes does however, a credible job taking a series of absurdities and making a Story of it. Case in point, just how do you take something as uncomfortable to watch as a scene with four Men attacking a Woman (albeit possessed) and make it funny? Co-Writers Wayans and Rick Alvarez, in addition to Tiddes, manage to find that fine balance, toeing the line of acceptability so close that you spend much of these 86 minutes off-center and sexually-shocked that you cannot help but remain interested. And if anyone knows their own Living Room pile of sh*t (you’ll get the reference after you see it), it definitely is Wayans, rightfully a Master of his Domain.
Bottom line, A Haunted House undeniably is entertaining and in-the-moment. Although it certainly is no White Chicks (Masterpiece), the Demographic it appeals to, will get it. VVS Films releases on Friday, January 25, 2013.
Read about Wayans’ recent Toronto visit here and enter to win a Signed Photo!