Marlon Wayans is having the last laugh, and we're laughing with him.
He oversaw the fluorescence of the lucrative "Scary Movie" franchise with brothers Shawn and Keenen Ivory, but they all three unceremoniously sat out the third-fifth installments. In "A Haunted House 2," Marlon digs at the post-Wayanses "Scary" sequels and lets it be known that he has scores to settle.
Aside from references to the more current fright films "The Conjuring," "The Possession," "Sinister" and the "Insidious" and "Paranormal Activity" series, "A Haunted House 2" for the most part doesn't reinvent the wheel.
As with the original "A Haunted House," Wayans' Malcolm moves into a new house with a new girlfriend and proceeds to redefine the term "sex toy" — it's just a different house, girlfriend and toy this time. Notably, the original's gay panic has here been supplanted by hang-ups over interracial dating.
The film's no-holds-barred humor can best be described as "In Living Color" without television's FCC oversight. From Honey Boo Boo to the Kardashians, from Chris Brown to Paula Deen, from Angry Birds to "Hoarders," it spares nothing and no one.
Some instances of impiousness work better than others. Wayans parodies the politically incorrect so deftly that Stephen Colbert could use a lesson. Though his edgier waggery on taboo subjects only goes to show that rape, child molestation and police brutality simply aren't laughing matters.
'A Haunted House 2'
MPAA rating: R for crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violent images.
Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes.
Playing: In general release.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times