Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Vulgar horror movie spoof has sex, language, and drugs.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Haunted House is the latest comedy spoof from Marlon Wayans and his cohorts, this time with their sights set on Paranormal Activity and the like. It's similar to Scary Movie and Dance Flick but less focused on pop culture references. Still, the humor is very vulgar and outrageous, with tons of sexual jokes/content (characters are swingers; one is gay; a sex toy and bondage outfit are shown) and some nudity (breasts, bottoms), as well as very strong language ("f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, etc.). The references to horror movies suggest some violence -- like demon possession and a scary ghost -- but the scare factor is often diffused by the humorous tone. Pot smoking and cocaine-snorting are played for laughs (a priest keeps a huge joint inside his Bible). Teens may want to see this opening weekend, but after that, not many will care.
- Families can talk about A Haunted House's strong sex-related humor. What makes it funny? Does the movie ever discuss sex in a mature way?
- Is the movie scary? How does the movie use images similar to those in horror movies but make them less scary?
- What is a spoof, exactly? What does a spoof promise and deliver? What does it do to the original material?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The movie is mostly filled with questionable behavior that doesn't have any consequences. Even the loving couple at the center of the story tends to argue and treat each other with disrespect.
Positive role models: Characters are shallow and mostly irresponsible. Their primary goals seem to be selfish and carnal, rather than helpful or considerate.
What to watch for
Violence: The hero's dog is killed by a car; the dog's body (which looks fake) is shown. Horror violence includes a ghost attacking and a woman being possessed by a demon; the scare factor is diffused by the movie's comic tone.
Sexy stuff: A long montage shows the main character performing several (practice) sexual acts with a stuffed animal. Three topless women are viewed in a brief "party" scene. The neighbors are "swingers" who try to convince the main characters to join them. A "mandingo party" is briefly shown (black men having sex with a white woman, while the woman's husband watches). Men's naked bottoms are glimpsed. A sex toy and a leather bondage outfit are shown.
Language: Strong, frequent language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," the "N" word, "t-ts," "p---y," "d--k," "vagina," "penis," "ass," "ho" ("whore"), "hell," "damn," and "bitch," as well as "oh my God," "Jesus Christ," and "goddamn." A character uses the word "NigGyver" to describe a black "MacGyver" move.
Consumerism: Best Buy is shown, and an Angry Birds game is shown.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke pot and snort cocaine in a comical way. They also drink beer socially.