Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scary MoVie

It’s been 7 years since Scary Movie 4 was released, and in that time the Hollywood parody genre has gone through a real rough patch with garbage like Meet The Spartans, Date Movie, Disaster Movie, Superhero Movie, Vampires Suck, A Haunted House, Dance Flick and more being vomited into cineplexes across the country. I’m not saying Scary Movie 4 was good. It wasn’t. I haven’t thought the franchise was funny since the original came out in 2000, and each subsequent film in the series became worse and worse.

So out of nowhere the Weinstein’s decide it was a good idea to bring the franchise back and crank out a new sequel in record time to feature parodies of a lot of current horror, and not horror, movies. And now here’s Scary MoVie. See what they did there with the “V” in “Movie” being the Roman numeral for 5? Clever, eh? Not really? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
Jody and Dan Sanders (Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex) discover that once they adopt their young nieces and nephew a malevolent spirit has come with them. They set-up a surveillance system all over the house to document the haunting.

The storyline is a combination of the main plots of Mama, Paranormal Activity and Black Swan. None of them are pulled off particularly well, and the parodies of other popular films and television shows, such as Insidious, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Cabin in the Woods, Inception, Sinister, Ted, the Evil Dead remake, War of the Worlds, the Madea films and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo are just as weak. There are even jokes about the Dos Equis old dude, Katy Perry’s old ass single “I Kissed a Girl”, the Mentos/Diet Coke YouTube videos, and a jab at Army of Darkness, none of which is particularly funny. The film basically a rapid fire stream of lame jokes that don’t really feel like they connect in any way, probably because the movie was mostly reshot last minute to include the Mama storyline by writer David Zucker.
The parts that director Malcolm D. Lee (Roll Bounce, Undercover Brother, The Best Man) is responsible for are actually kind of funny. His Fifty Shades of Grey bit worked for me, especially the Hellraiser portion. The Black Swan stuff is fun due to the insane performance of Molly Shannon as the dancer replaced by Tisdale and a cameo by Usher. His Rise of the Planet of the Apes subplot is crap and missed the mark on more than one occasion. The Inception stuff worked and the bit where we get to see what a dog is dreaming cracked me up. The Paranormal Activity stuff is hit or miss (the pool cleaner robot party was a nice surprise though). I hear a Hunger Games bit was left on the cutting room floor that was actually funny. Sad.

However, the David Zucker material is lamesauce across the board. His parody of the Evil Dead remake, which is based off the trailer since that flick was released in theaters one week before this was, is the only high point. Everything else is absolutely dreadful and unfunny. The portions he added involve people slipping and falling, non-stop poop jokes and watching Simon Rex getting beat up for 70 minutes straight. And what the hell was up with that Mexican maid character?! He ruins the flick singlehandedly. Remember when The Zuckers were the masters of the pardoy film?
The performances are pretty unbearable. Tisdale looks constipated for the whole movie (but damn if she doesn’t look hot in that black wig when she’s impersonating Jessica Chastain in Mama), Simon Rex is a walking punching bag and the cameos by Sharlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Kat Williams, Terry Crews, Snoop Dog, Jasmine Guy and Heather Locklear are mostly wasted opportunities. It’s interesting looking back on the previous films and realizing that the only thing that made the latter entries watchable was the supremely talented Anna Faris and her awesome comic timing. Her presence is sorely lacking here in the extreme.

What pissed me off even more is that the movie is only 73 minutes long and the remaining 15 minutes is an end credits sequence padded out with blooper reel footage (which is funnier than the actual film) to fill out the run time. Seriously?!
If Scary MoVie was never tampered with I’m sure it could have been a fun little distraction on a lazy Sunday. As it is it’s a schizophrenic mess of clashing comedic sensibilities and poorly written sketch comedy bits based on popular flicks. It’s borderline unwatchable and barely entertaining. Skip it.

0.5 out of 5

Note: This review is of the Unrated cut.

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