“A HAUNTED HOUSE 2” ✭✭✭✭✭
I was honored when executives from Open Road Films asked me to be the only major film critic in America to get an early look at Marlon Wayans’ new comedy “A Haunted House 2.” While watching “A Haunted House 2” the movies “Terminator 2,” “The Godfather Part II,” and “Aliens” immediately came to mind. These are films that not only lived up to their classic originals but to many they surpassed them. I’m proud to announce “A Haunted House 2” has earned its place on that distinguished list.
When we last left Malcolm Johnson — played by Marlon Wayans — in “A Haunted House” it looked like he was going to die at the hands of his possessed girlfriend Kisha. Without giving away too many plot details, Malcolm survives and starts a brand new life with a single mother of two (played by the insanely-talented Jamie Pressly). It doesn’t take too long for the haunted hilarity to begin in Malcolm’s new home with the film riffing on such horror films as “Insidious,” “The Conjuring” and “Sinister.”
The strength of “A Haunted House 2” is that it never feels like a complete parody because director Michael Tiddes makes the audience not only emotionally connect with these characters, but keeps you on the edge of your seat with scenes that are so intense, you’ll be screaming almost as much as you’re laughing.
The real stars of the film are Gabriel Iglesias as Malcolm’s scene-stealing new neighbor Miguel and Cedric the Entertainer reprising his role as Father Doug Williams. These characters’ time on screen is never enough and both deserve films of their own.
The production design by Ermanno Di Febo-Orsini is first rate and Tim Mirkovich’s editing is the best work he’s done since 2012’s “The Devil Inside.”