The blogger having been an unusually lazy homebody this year, Antagony & Ecstasy's annual marathon of movies we missed out on during their theatrical release shall begin extra-early this year. And what better place to start my catalogue of the movies I missed in 2013 than with the very first movie I missed in 2013, way back on 11 January? I refer of course to A Haunted House, Marlon Wayans's parody of the found-footage horror genre and Paranormal Activity especially. An idea so extraordinarily good and fertile that three months later it was done again with Scary Movie 5, the newest sequel in a franchise originally created by Wayans before David Zucker stormed along and ruined the ever-living fuck out of something that wasn't very good to begin with.

Having a pair of movies which are so akin in their intentions and genealogy, it's easy to confuse the one for the other, and to make sure that everybody remembers which of these comedy masterpieces is which as the time comes to start assembling the Best of the Year lists, I though it would be fun to play a game I call:


I suck at naming games.

Question 1
Only one of these is actually a specific parody of Paranormal Activity, largely repeating the same plot beats and copying the found footage aesthetic, and indeed it is such a good copy that it kind of forgets to even tell jokes for huge stretches of soul-deadening anti-comedy. The other is a pointless grab-bag of pop culture references strung along a plot that's actually mostly copied from Mama. Which of the films is the PA spoof?

A Haunted House. This one should have been easy, given that "a pointless grab-bag" has described every one of the "____ Movie" films to date.

Question 2
How the hell was Scary Movie 5 able to parody Mama, which was only three months old itself at the time SM5 was released?


Question 3
Which of these films was not parodied or referenced in Scary Movie 5: Black Swan, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Evil Dead '13, Madea Goes to Jail, The Help, Quarantine, the 1943 "entertain the troops" musical Thousands Cheer, Zero Dark Thirty, Inception, The Cabin in the Woods. Also 50 Shades of Grey, which is still a book and not a movie.

Trick question! It is not specified which particular Madea movie is being parodied, though it is probably not Madea Goes to Jail.

Question 4
Is that Zero Dark Thirty reference remotely coherent, or suggestive of the screenwriters having watched Zero Dark Thirty at any point?

Sure! They talk about drone strikes! You remember how drone strikes were the big talking point that came out of Zero Dark Thirty, right?

Question 5
The funniest scene in either film occurs when a character, getting warmed up for sex with his girlfriend, starts to pantomime sex with her teddy bear, and this quickly turns into a threesome as he makes a teddy bear go down on a stuffed duck, and things of that nature. In which film did this occur?

A Haunted- wait, that's the funniest part?

Question 6
Sad, isn't it? What's the funniest gag in the other film?

A parody of the "train enters a tunnel" visual sex pun that has two train tunnels smashing into each other to signify lesbian sex.

Question 7
What is the least-funny part of each of the movies?

The official policy of Antagony & Ecstasy is to keep reviews of new movies below 2000 words. I would not be able to transcribe the entire screenplays of two feature films and hit that target.

But there's a fart joke in A Haunted House that is unusually sad and joyless even by the standard of fart jokes.

Question 8
Is former Disney starlet Ashley Tisdale a remotely satisfactory replacement for the always-game and better-than-necessary Anna Faris in Scary Movie 5.

Good Lord, no.

Question 9
Which film has more fart jokes?

A Haunted House, by a decent amount.

Question 10
Which film has more dick jokes?

Scary Movie 5, by a huge margin, and note that Scary Movie 5 is rated PG-13 to A Haunted House's R.

Question 11
Which film has more Benny Hill jokes in which the action moves fast while "Yakety Sax" plays?

Scary Movie 5.

Question 12
Did the filmmakers not realise that it is 2013?

It would not appear that way.

Question 13
With one film being written by a black man and directed by a white man, and the other written by white men and directed by a black man, which is the more racist?

Hard to say. A Haunted House at least has some anti-racism, though it's hugely excited to traffic in stereotypes. Scary Movie 5 barely has any non-whites in it, and the Katt Williams scene is a miserable experience in every way. Probably Scary Movie 5.

Question 14
Which film is more homophobic?

Easily A Haunted House, with Nick Swardson playing a psychic who exists solely to make Wayans uncomfortable by hitting on him, and even worse, is played by Nick Swardson. Also, Wayans is anally violated by a ghost, for comedy.

Question 15
Which film is more sexist?

A Haunted House, whose plot consists almost entirely of iterations of the theme, "there is no upside to sharing your home with a woman, boys".

Question 16
Which film wastes the stronger cast?

A Haunted House, in which David Koechner plays a racist camera installer, and Cedric the Entertainer plays a druggie "priest". Scary Movie 5 can't do better than Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan playing humiliated versions of themselves.

Question 17
In which film does a character do a dance while being recorded in sped-up security footage on the Paranormal Activity model?

In both of them. It is marginally funnier in A Haunted House, possibly because I watched that one first.

Question 18
In which film is there a wacky Latina maid being all zany because she's a Magical Ethnic?

This also happens in both of them.

Question 19
Is there any sense in either film that it's a parody, and not just rehashing tired jokes about Mexicans?

Sort of in A Haunted House.

Question 20
In which film is the wacky maid rocketed out of a bathroom by the force of her foul-smelling explosive shits?

Scary Movie 5.

Question 21
Is there a better symbol for the act of watching A Haunted House and Scary Movie 5 than talking about somebody being rocketed out of a bathroom because they have such a forceful bowel movement?

There is not.

A Haunted House: 1/10
Scary Movie 5: 1/10, but it's a slightly stronger 1/10