Marlon Wayans gets laughs in ‘A Haunted House’
Marlon Wayans knows parody. He knows what it should and what it shouldn’t be. As one of the creative forces behind the sketch show “In Living Color” and the first two “Scary Movie” films, he’s become one of the foremost experts on the topic along with his six famous siblings.
“I’m not saying that we’re geniuses. I’m saying that if you like what we do, there’s a reason,” says Wayans. “It’s not an accident. It’s what we do. When people try to mimic it, it usually comes out pretty damn horrible.”
The writer, producer and actor is quick to dissociate himself from some of the spin-offs that followed the “Scary Movie” films he worked on.
“‘Scary Movie’ was a great franchise for us,” he says. “We created it and we raised it. We were very proud when we did two. We sent it off to college on three and it turned into a crackhead. Now it’s turning tricks in the street and I’m just going, ‘That’s not my child!’”
What’s the problem with “Scary Movie 3″ and onward? Do “Epic Movie,” “Date Movie” and “Disaster Movie” have those problems too?
“A good parody should stand on its own as a movie and not always be pop-culture references or movie references,” Wayans says. “That’s not what a parody is — some of the things are similar but it’s a story that you can follow with a character that you like.”
Putting aside the franchises that have gone wrong, Wayans can keep doing what he loves. He has turned his attention to a new horror-comedy. “A Haunted House” is a found-footage movie about an African-American couple living with a ghost.
“I was watching ‘Paranormal Activity,’ which is one of the biggest franchises in the found-footage genre. I was just sitting there going, ‘Why do white people do such dumb stuff in these movies? Why don’t they just leave the house?’” Wayans asks. “What if ‘Paranormal Activity’ happened to a black couple?”
And so the haunting begins, but not without a few blue scenes involving a few stuffed animals and a ghost or two.
“Me and the teddy bears had a blast,” Wayans says. “You should interview them. They’ll tell you. The two of them fell in love.”