In defiance of conventional wisdom, the second week of 2013 sees yet another film that doesn’t aspire to the bottom-of-the-barrel stature usually typified by early-in-the-year releases. Quite to the contrary, A HAUNTED HOUSE sets out to deflate found-footage horror in general, and the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise in specific, and more often than not hits its targets quite capably. It’s raunchy, yes, and willfully offensive to any number of special interest groups, but funny is funny, and Marlon Wayans as a boyfriend confronting weird goings-on — including a ghost with a taste for both weed and strange — when his girlfriend (Essence Atkins) moves in turns out to be pretty damn funny.
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons as they sit down to discuss the hits and misses in this uninhibited satire, weighing the relative, comedic value of menacing household help, foul-mouthed exorcists, and the reintroduction of the word “Mandingo” to the popular lexicon. Plus: What’s coming to theaters next week.
Okay, so they called the previous installment THE FINAL DESTINATION, as if that was going to be the last chapter of the franchise. So what? Like you never said, “This one’s the last French fry,” and then went on shoveling the spuds down your gullet like there was no tomorrow. Given the success of that 2009 entry, no one really should be surprised that we’re now looking at FINAL DESTINATION 5 — which may or may not be the actual, final encore/curtain call for the series — or that at this point the producers have honed to a fine… art, let’s say… the formula of twenty-somethings escaping an horrendous fate only to be subsequently stalked and dispatched by death in various, Rube Goldbergian ways. One plus: Even at this late date, a franchise that’s essentially a more morbid envisioning of Road Runner cartoons (and is once again rendered in appropriately poke-your-eye-out 3D) is still pretty amusing. Come join our special guest, Cashiers du Cinemart‘s Mike White, as he joins Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons in examining the delights and the demerits of one of the most formulaic, yet oddly entertaining, of film franchises.
Also in this episode: A discussion of director Rupert Wyatt’s plans for the sequel to his hit film, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, plus what’s coming in theatrical releases and home video.