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Case Number 27658: Small Claims Court

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A Haunted House 2 (Blu-ray)

Universal // 2014 // 87 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // August 22nd, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Naugle sleeps with the lights on.

The Charge

It'll scare the #2 out of you.

The Case

After exorcising the demons from his previous girlfriend, Malcolm Johnson (Marlon Wayans, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) is moving on with his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl) and her two children into the suburban dream home. Yet old habits die hard, as Malcolm soon realizes that the apparitions and demons that plagued him in the first Haunted House film are back with a vengeance and will stop at nothing to make his life a living hell!

2013's A Haunted House was one of the least funny movies I'd ever seen. Now here comes A Haunted House 2, which is even worse. How could it not be? The film was conceived, shot, and released just over a year after the first film. The entire production was clearly rushed, and it shows in every frame of the film. If the genius Zucker brothers are like the filet mignon of comedy, Marlon Wayans is most certainly the chunky grizzle that is near impossible to digest.

Can we all just agree that the comedic satire, ala Airplane! and The Naked Gun—especially for horror movies—is dead and buried? With the release of Scary Movie 5 and the two A Haunted House movies, it's clear that filmmakers are bankrupt for ideas. Star Marlon Wayans co-wrote this screenplay, which appears to have been scribbled on cocktail napkins, transferred to an etch-a-sketch, and thrown into a food processor in the basement of a house that's been overrun by backed up sewer waste. Yes, it's THAT bad.

What passes for funny in A Haunted House 2? When Malcolm's dog is killed by a safe dropping on it, he screams and yells and cries hysterically, endlessly…for two separate scenes. Another scene—offensive in both its tastelessness and lack of context—features Malcolm having extended sex with a wooden doll. Wayans' character treats the doll like she's a real woman, molesting her with unbridled zeal, for no discernable reason except the filmmakers thought it was hysterical (it's not). It's as if the writers don't understand that this scene is only funny if it's connected to something—a reason, a motivation, anything. The audience is given nothing to grasp onto, which is why it's absolutely grotesque and excruciatingly embarrassing in its execution.

A Haunted House 2 is filled with oodles of racially and sexually charged humor, none of which is the least bit guffaw worthy. The film mocks current horror hits—including The Conjuring and Sinister—but mimicry is not parody. Wayans spends most of the movie jumping around yelling "I just ghost punched yo' a**!" (or whatever idiotic phrase you want to choose). He's joined by Jaime Pressly's breasts and rear end as his new girlfriend, a blustering Cedric the Entertainer (Barbershop) as a local priest (retuning from the first film), and comedian Gabriel Iglesias (Magic Mike) as his stereotypical Mexican neighbor (he owns a lawn care service…har-har-har). All of those actors should consider leaving A Haunted House 2 off their resumes lest their families discover it and disown them.

Truly one of the worst major studio films of the year. I didn't laugh, chuckle, or crack a smile once during A Haunted House 2. Why did this movie get green lit? Because the first film was made on the cheap and enough people paid to see it (never mind if they actually liked it) which mean it turned a profit, and thusly a sequel was put into motion. A Haunted House 2 is pure cinematic garbage and should totally be ghost punched out of existence.

A Haunted House 2 is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition. Universal's transfer for this film is rather good considering how putrid the screenplay and acting is. Some of the video footage isn't perfect, but it isn't meant to be (that's a stylistic decision). Overall the transfer is crystal clear and in great shape, which isn't surprising considering how new it is. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround in English. This is a fairly straightforward mix that is dialogue heavy, meaning there aren't a lot of surround sounds or directional effects (expect during some of the scarier scenes). Also included on this disc is a Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 mix in English, as well as English, Spanish, and French subtitles.

Extra features include deleted and extened scenes, a feature commentary track with director Michael Tiddess and writer/producers Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez, a bonus DVD copy, and a digital copy.

A Haunted House 2 features a scene of spontaneous diarrhea, because how could it not? That should tell you everything you need to know about this turd of a film. Avoid it at all costs.

The Verdict

This ought to be condemned.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 25

Perp Profile

Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2014
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Bad
• Blu-ray
• Comedy
• Horror
• Paranormal

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• DVD Copy
• Digital Copy
• UltraViolet Download


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