CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: ‘A Haunted House 2’ Spoofs Better Than the Original
CHICAGO – The parody industry that the Wayans comedy machine has generated has provided big laughs and big box office for years. In 2013, Marlon Wayans launched another series, with “A Haunted House.” Faster than the fastest green light, that success led to ‘A Haunted House 2.’
Moving to a personal note, I absolutely despised the first film, mostly because I felt that (writer) Wayans relied on tired gags and a strange, misogynistic attitude toward women in that film. But it’s nice to report that “A Haunted House 2” was much better, the gags were sharper (and weirder) and the supporting cast was stronger. While the anything-for-a-laugh pacing that Wayans practices will never get a Mark Twain Award, “A Haunted House 2” is bizarre spoof – especially of last year’s horror epic “The Conjuring” – that effectively elicits some guffaws for a night at the movies.
The film begins at the end of the last film, with Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Cousin Ray Ray (Affion Crockett) running away from Malcolm’s possessed girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins). Apparently anxious to get into a new relationship, the timeline progresses to the next year, with Malcolm introducing a new love Megan (Jaime Pressly), who comes with two kids, and a new house which possibly could be haunted.
One of the items that comes with the move is an odd doll, similar to the toy found in last year’s “The Conjuring,” and Malcolm becomes unusually obsessed with it. Feeling that the house has a supernatural power, Malcolm consults with Professor Wilde (Rick Overton), Father Williams (Cedric the Entertainer) and his new neighbor Miguel (Gabriel Iglesias). It’s time to call in the Exorcists.
Screaming Again: Malcoln (Marlon Wayans) in ‘A Haunted House 2’
Photo credit: Open Road Films (II)