"What did you expect?" That's how readers respond when I write a negative review of a movie that everyone expected would be bad.
In the case of "A Haunted House 2," the sequel to Marlon Wayans' horror movie parody, I didn't expect much. But I did assume -- this being a comedy and all -- that I would laugh, at least once. But "A Haunted House 2" is so bombastically stupid that its well-earned R rating doesn't seem sufficient. The movie should come with another warning: The following 87 minutes would be better spent alphabetizing your spice rack.
No stars"A Haunted House 2"
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Gabriel Iglesias
Directed by: Michael Tiddes
Other: An Open Road Films release. Rated R for sexual situations, nudity, language, drug use and violence. 87 minutes
Wayans reteamed with Rick Alvarez to write this follow-up, and he once again stars as Malcolm, a man plagued by otherworldly forces. He has just moved into a new house with his girlfriend Megan (Jaime Pressly) and her two children, and no sooner do they start unpacking boxes but weird things begin to happen. Megan's daughter becomes obsessed with a large box she found in her closet, while her younger brother picks up an imaginary friend named Tony. Malcolm, meanwhile, stumbles upon an old film reel of a ghoulish and incompetent demon that can't seem to kill the house's previous occupants.
Malcolm also begins an intimate relationship with a creepy doll Megan found in the closet, leading to a series of sex scenes that are so graphic, with such hard-core language coming from Malcolm, that it's hard to believe that only one-half of the participants is human.
Other setups that are supposed to qualify as funny include the relationship Malcolm has with his Mexican neighbor (Gabriel Iglesias), in which the two trade racist barbs; a "joke" about Chris Brown and Rihanna's violent past; an accidental puppy killing; and prison rape.
If that weren't enough, the editing is sloppy, the narrative is weak and every lame gag goes on twice as long as it should. "A Haunted House 2" definitely exceeds expectations, but in the worst way possible.