Imagine, if you will, a largish suburban home, long deserted—by the living, at least. Inside, two ghosts sit at the kitchen table, sipping lattes.
Ghost 1: So, waddya wanna do tonight? You up for rattling some chains?
Ghost 2: Nah. I'm about rattled out.
Ghost 1: Well, I guess we could see what Marley's up to. He's always got something going on.
Ghost 2: That bore? Y'know, you can only take that bandage off your head so many times before the whole thing gets old. And he's always so mopey.
Ghost 1: Look, the last family you scared off took the TV, and I know you hate Monopoly, so—
Ghost 2: Yeah, this whole "doomed to walk the earth" gig gets to be kind of a drag. (Pause) Hey, at least we'll get a little excitement soon.
Ghost 1: Oh, really? Like what?
Ghost 2: Haven't you heard? Marlon Wayans is coming. He's going to film his next Haunted House movie right here, bringing along a whole bunch of easily scared key grips and … hey, what's wrong? You're as white as a—
Ghost 1: Never mind that. Get packing. Now!
Ghost 2: Why? What's wrong?
Ghost 1: We don't want to be anywhere near this place for a Haunted House movie. No, no, no, no, no no, no!
Ghost 2: Dude, I've never seen your vacant eye twitch like that.
Ghost 1: You didn't see the first movie, did you?! If you did, both your eyes'd be twitching. These flicks are abominations I tell you! Abominations! They should all be burned! Burned! And then the ground where they're burned should be salted.
Ghost 2: Whoa, just hold on. And stop staring at me with that scary eye of yours. A silly movie can't be that bad.
Ghost 1: Oh, no? Don't believe me? Just take a look at what Plugged In has to say about it!
The dog Shiloh Jr. seems nice enough—until he's flattened by a safe in the first five minutes.
Shiloh Jr.'s owner, Malcolm, his girlfriend, Megan, and her kids, Becky and Wyatt, have moved into a house inhabited by a demon named Agouhl. (Get it? Well, that's as good as the jokes ever get here.) He, according to a drug-addled professor, manifests in a creepy box Becky totes around, in an invisible friend Wyatt hangs out with, and in a spooky doll Malcolm has "sex" with. It's suggested that the demon may be a parting gift from Malcolm's ex-girlfriend, Kisha. (She was the girl in dire need of an exorcism in the first Haunted House movie and, despite being left for dead in a car, has come back still in full, um, possession of her faculties.)
In an effort to rid the house of the demonic influence, Malcolm enlists the help of Ned, Noreen and Father Williams. Ned and Noreen are exorcists who talk about God and the devil, but given the spoof-tastic context here, their "sincerity" comes off as mostly just blasphemous; and the priest obscenely jokes that he became a Catholic father "for the little boys."
Still reading? (Maybe rethink that commitment a little at this point.) When the priest is reprimanded for swearing in church, he repeatedly shanks his collared critic. He later tearfully "prays" while partially possessed, asking if God has deserted him because of his penchant for swearing while praying. He also claims to sell priestly garments for a profit now, calling them "Jesus Pieces." (I told you the jokes didn't get any better.)
We see Bibles, crucifixes and holy water, the latter two able to burn possessed beings. We hear bizarre discussions of hell and demonic forces. Malcolm tries to sacrifice a chicken. The priest encourages him, though, to not fight the demonic influence and instead just "let them in." Someone is said to be psychic. We hear about meditation and chi.
Malcolm sexually manhandles—repeatedly and graphically—the doll. He's naked all the while (seen from the side and rear) he mimics a whole host of sexual positions and acts. The doll later sexts him, sending photos of her wooden self in various states of undress. (We see her "nipples.") It's insinuated that Ned also plans on sexually assailing the doll.
Malcolm is shown having wild sex with both Megan and Kisha. The women wear at least underwear, but the sequences are quite graphic, complete with explicit movement, lots of sounds and hyperbolic amounts of "fluid."
Becky is a promiscuous teen who is kissed and fondled (on her backside) by one of her many reported boyfriends. Really awful things are jokingly implied about her, her anatomy and the incestuously brutish things that her father may have done to her. A "penis" is seen growing in her throat.
The camera shows us scads of bare-breasted women in a couple of scenes. In one, a man stuffs his face into the chest of one topless woman. There's rude and crude talk and/or jokes about all manner of sexual subjects, including oral sex/masturbation, gay sex, anal sex, bondage sex, sex toys, rape and statutory rape. Wyatt flits about in a ballerina outfit.
People die pretty horribly here. A woman has her neck broken. Somebody's found on a bed, stabbed in the chest—with the murder weapon still sticking out of it. A third soul succumbs to a demon and commits suicide with a gun.
Shiloh Jr. is smashed by the safe, as mentioned, and ends up looking like a furry pancake when it's removed. Malcolm tries to pump the beast back up but goes too far and the dead dog squirts through the air like an untied balloon. Another dog is bludgeoned, skewered, chopped and shot, leaving a bloody carcass. A rooster and Malcolm tangle, tussle and fight to the death for about an hour and a half, it seems, in the kitchen: It ends with the man first trying to fry the fowl, then thrusting it into the ceiling fan, splattering the room with blood and meat and feathers.
Much of the sex Malcolm has is similarly befouled with violence: Kisha hits him repeatedly, dislodging a tooth. He cuts the doll apart, douses it with lighter fluid and cooks it on a grill. It comes back, smoking and "bruised"—and enraged.
Agouhl tries to kill several folks, some by hanging, some by drowning, some by burning. The devilish deeds always double back on the demon, though, causing it to fall from a tree, catch fire and get pummeled with a pool-cleaning net. A possessed Malcolm contorts into horribly uncomfortable positions (one of which prompts him to give himself oral sex). People fight, punch, kick, bite and choke. Someone's hit with a shovel.
Crude or Profane Language
Well over 100 f-words and 50 s-words. Scads of other profanities include "a‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "d‑‑n," "h‑‑‑" and "p‑‑‑." The n-word gets ruthlessly exercised. A middle finger does a few calisthenics. God's name is misused at least two-dozen times (four or five times with "d‑‑n"), and Jesus' is abused once or twice.
Drug and Alcohol Content
We see meth being made, marijuana being smoked and cocaine being snorted. A man flees from police because he has drugs stuffed in his anus. Malcolm uses a variety of drugs and drinks whiskey. (He's once found lying in a pool of his own vomit.) During an exorcism, Father William shares a stash of MDMA, or Molly. (Everyone is very appreciative.) Young Wyatt has a tea party at which he serves straight vodka (to both visible and invisible guests). Someone attempts to serve mojitos.
Other Negative Elements
Gags predicated on racism and racial stereotypes are pervasive.
Malcolm digs a grave for the doll, then urinates and defecates on the thing. (It returns smelling awful.) Somebody else is shown in a bathroom, noisily defecating. Wyatt passes gas right into his sister's face. People repeatedly vomit blood.
Reviewing movies is my job. I was, in other words, literally paid to see this one. I can't actually imagine any other reason why someone would go. And, frankly, I need a raise.
A Haunted House 2 was apparently designed, like its putrid predecessor, to be a comedy. But it's about as enjoyable as liver-flavored gummy bears, and it made me laugh about as often as listening to other people's numbers getting called at the DMV.
And all that can be said even if you somehow had no qualms about the graphic grossness on display—content that is truly astounding. It's not just the amount of sex or violence, or even how explicit it is. It's how grotesquely inappropriate it is—with jokes predicated on everything from pedophilia to domestic abuse to drug-pushing priests to 9-year-olds dropping the f-word.
In 1963's The Haunting we're told that "some houses are just born bad." A Haunted House 2 insists that some movies are too.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Marlon Wayans as Malcolm; Jaime Pressly as Megan; Essence Atkins as Kisha; Gabriel Iglesias as Miguel; Missi Pyle as Noreen; Ashley Rickards as Becky; Affion Crockett as Ray Ray; Steele Stebbins as Wyatt; Rick Overton as Professor Wilde; Hayes MacArthur as Ned; Dave Sheridan as Agouhl; Cedric the Entertainer as Father Williams
Michael Tiddes (A Haunted House)
Open Road Films
April 18, 2014
Paul Asay Paul Asay