Scared Stupid: Marlon Wayans talks A Haunted House 2 and the Spoof Genre

Flickering Myth co-editor Luke Owen sits down with Marlon Wayans to discuss his upcoming movie, A Haunted House 2…

Marlon WayansThe original movie was panned by many critics and its sequel, A Haunted House 2, hasn’t fared much better. But that hasn’t stopped Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) from producing his brand of humour for his audience.

Flickering Myth co-editor Luke Owen sat down with Marlon Wayans to discuss A Haunted House 2 as well as the spoof genre in general and how its changed over time.

Tell me about A Haunted House 2.

It basically picks up where the first one left off, Malcolm escapes and now he has a new family and they move into a new house and the same old stuff happens. Spooky stuff starts to happen and there is a creepy doll. And his crazy ex-girlfriend moves in next door!

Why did you make A Haunted House 2?

I think the success of the last one certainly, but I had a new well of comedy to explore. I had new jokes to tell. And I think this one is funnier than the last one, and it plays on different levels.

What’s the funniest thing from set?

You know what – everything that was funny on set is in the movie. We’ve never been the production company to do wacky things on set. If it’s funny, we’ll put it in the movie.

A-Haunted-House-2You’ve been making spoofs for nearly 20 years, how has the genre changed?

It has changed a lot. Our approach has always been to never do a direct parody. A Haunted House is a parody of horror movies and we make jokes about them, but it’s not a direct spoof of one film. Look at a movie like Airplane!, if you’ve never seen an aeroplane disaster movie, you might just think it’s a fun movie with fun and interesting characters because you don’t need to know the movies to get the jokes. It’s all funny. That’s how we approached making the movie. Over the years, some people have tried to take our formula and just add in pop culture references in and they didn’t really get the comedy right.

You started the Scary Movie franchise, but moved away from it. Have you seen the other movies?

I saw them on cable. I tried to watch Scary Movie 5 but, you know, they’re different. It’s not what we do. It’s softer and schtickier. I think ours were more… we’re edgy people and we have a different angle. You know, we do share some audiences, but comedy is subjective. It might not be for me but there will be those who think it’s hilarious.

How do you go about writing a spoof movie?

Oh god! It’s hard to say. Research, research, research, research and then you write. 1000’s of hours of research and then you draft your story and your characters.

Requiem_for_a_dream_marlon-wayansYou have been known for serious roles in the past like Requiem for a Dream. Would you go back to drama?

Yeah I would go back, but I don’t have those scripts come across my desk. I’m dramatically trained and I’m theatrically trained, but with a right script and the right director and the right story I would totally go back.

Do you think your comedy work stops you from getting those roles?

I don’t think that’s it. There are only so many roles, you know? Some roles I want to do, some roles they don’t want me to do. I had to audition for Requiem for a Dream five times before I got the role. They didn’t really get me and what I was doing so I had to prove it. I am what I am. What do you do with a guy who does everything?

There was a time when you were signed on to play Robin in the 90s Batman movies. Do you regret never being able to play Robin?

Nope, not at all. I have never regretted anything about any movie. Because there are too many rewards for you when you don’t regret things. If you go on with that life, you’ll never achieve. If something is better for you, you’ll get it. I just embrace when things don’t happen and I use it to be creative. Why cry over spilt milk?

Is there any superhero you would like to play?

Given the chance, I would love to do The Mask or Plastic Man.

Many thanks to Marlon Wayans for taking the time for this interview.

A Haunted House 2 is out now in UK cinemas.

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  • Oliver Davis

    Great interview.

  • Rohan Michael Morbey

    Good work, Luke.