They’re back whether you wanted them or not. Kisha (Essence Atkins), the possessed woman from the first film, is still ruining everything for Malcolm (Marlon Wayans). Leaving her for dead at the scene of a car accident, he starts a new life with Megan (Jaime Pressly). They move into a new house next door to Miguel (Gabriel Iglesias) and the hauntings and gutter-scouring gags begin all over again. Kisha can’t be far behind. Or is it something else?

The "story" rolls on, swiping its parodic plot points from Sinister, The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and The Possession. But it's not satire. Satire is about something. This film is about nothing. It is cheap and it is lazy, and by any objective measure it is a rotten, rancid waste of time and money.

This sequel even steals from itself, rehashing gags from the first A Haunted House. It exists to make jokes about sex with that evil Conjuring doll, the slaughter of pets, Forest Whitaker’s face, vaginas, prison rape, El Pollo Loco, black and Latino stereotypes, bowel movements, Tyler Perry, and even the cinematic output of the Wayans family itself. Then Marlon Wayons gets hit in the face with a shovel. It is bad all around. So why was I laughing throughout the entire running time?

Because there isn’t one set of rules for comedy. The self-loathing brilliance of someone like Louis C.K. isn’t the same as the biting culture commentary of Chris Rock isn’t the feminist bomb-throwing of Amy Schumer. Sometimes it’s Adam Sandler. You don't have to like it but sometimes it. is. Adam. Sandler. And since we’re talking about the Wayans bunch, sometimes it’s White Chicks. Or Little Man. Sometimes it's that inexplicable phenomenon where you can see right through the flimsy not-comedy and you still wind up laughing. You sink like a stone to its level and become stupid for the duration. Nothing matters. Right and wrong switch places and you don't even care. That's diabolical.

I laughed in the same way I laughed when I saw Movie 43, the way I laughed when I saw That’s My Boy. I laughed because I was wallowing in garbage. I became its garbage-hostage, so I went along with the ordeal to survive and found myself repeatedly chuckling to myself over lines like “Your creepy doll is making my dick scared.” I don't know why. I know I’m not proud of it. But it happened. Now I need to wash my entire life to get it off me.


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