Movie review: 'A Haunted House' is so bad, it's scary

SmartAss - 3204.NEF

Photo by Will McGarry, © 2012 Smartass, All Rights Reserved.

SmartAss - 3204.NEF

Young couple Malcolm and Kisha who have just moved in to their dream house. As they settle in, they quickly find they're not alone. But ...

Rating: R for crude and sexual content, language and some drug use

Length: 80 minutes

Released: January 11, 2013 Nationwide

Cast: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Cedric The Entertainer, Nick Swardson

Director: Michel Tiddes

Writer: Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez

More info and showtimes »

As "Zero Dark Thirty" sparks debate over waterboarding, we're left to wonder if there might be some other way to obtain information from enemy non-combatants.

I'd suggest forcing them to watch "A Haunted House," the new Marlon Wayans movie and alleged comedy, a parody of the "Paranormal Activity" franchise. A parody that is, in its own way, more horrifying than the real thing.

"House" stars Wayans as Malcolm, a single man about to invite his girlfriend (Essence Atkins) to move in with him. For about two minutes, it looks like Wayans might be on to something - looking for humor in the idea of a significant other invading your house and upending your life like some kind of poltergeist.

Wayans ditches all that for routine "Scary Movie" lowjinks, and in the process sets a modern non-Sandler record for flatulence jokes. Also offered - a racist home security salesman (David Koechner), neighbors (Alana Ubach, Andrew Daly) who want to swing, a disgruntled Latina maid and an invisible ghost whose tactics include sexual assault. Nick Swardson plays a gay man with an intense interest in Malcolm.

It is all nearly laugh-free, although Cedric the Entertainer has 30 or 40 funny seconds as a cut-rate exorcist.

Not enough, though, to save "A Haunted House" from being an early contender for next year's Golden Raspberry.

Could it have a second life as an alternative to water-boarding?

I doubt the Geneva Convention would allow it.

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A HAUNTED HOUSE

Cast: David Koechner; Essence Atkins; Cedric The Entertainer; Nick Swardson; Affion Crocket; Marlon Wayans

Directed by: Michel Tiddes

MPAA rating: R for crude and sexual content, language and some drug use Running time:

Running time: 1:20

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