Scary Movie (2000) is directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. It is parody of the horror, slasher, and mystery film genres and roughly follows the plot of Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). It stars Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Jon Abrahams, Carmen Electra, Shannon Elizabeth, Kurt Fuller, Lochlyn Munro, Cheri Oteri and Dave Sheridan. Even though the tagline on the movie poster stated, “No Mercy. No Shame. No Sequel.” it has spawned FOUR sequels (to date).
SPOILER ALERT: This review WILL talk openly about the plot of the film. We’re 16 years removed from its release so I feel rather confident that if you wanted to see it you would have. If not go check it out first and come on back afterword.
NOTE: I’ve actually already reviewed Scary Movie back in 2013. I’d completely forgotten about that review until putting the finishing touches on this one. I have NOT gone back and re-read that review. It’ll be interesting to see how the two compare.
Plot & Thoughts
As I said in the intro, this one roughly follows the same plot as Scream, also borrowing liberally from I Know What You Did Last Summer. There are a slew of other references to film and pop culture items throughout. The opening scene begins as a shot for shot remake of the opener from Scream (which I still consider one of the best opening scenes in horror history). The phone call, the stabbing and Ghostface are all here, but we also get some slapstick and crude humor thrown in as well – think Airplane or Naked Gun. That’s not to say this isn’t a horror movie though… There’s a ton of blood and gore throughout. It’s just paired with comedy at every turn.
We’re introduced to the cast including Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), Bobby (Jon Abrahams), Brenda (Regina Hall), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Greg (Lochlyn Munro), Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth), and Brenda’s stoner brother Shorty (Marlon Wayans). From here we go into a flashback sequence and we go from a Scream parody right into I Know What You Did Last Summer.
From here on out we get more of the same which is a very good thing. At every turn if you know the source material you know what’s coming next but there’s enough of a comedic twist on things to keep you on your toes and many times make you laugh out loud. There’s quite a bit of crude humor here in addition to all of the blood. In the politically correct world we live in these days I’m not sure this movie could be made. Pot humor, gay humor, and just straight up vulgarity make for a flick that might send the social outrage folks screaming these days. Me? I loved it.
Whether you enjoy Scary Movie or not is going to boil down to two things. First, how well do you know the films that are being parodied? If you don’t know Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer like the back of your hand you’re going to miss most of the brilliance that’s on screen here. The Matrix, The Blair Witch Project, The Sixth Sense, Halloween, The Exorcist, The Shining, and American Pie (among others) should also be in your mental catalog to get the most out of this film. If you don’t know those flicks you’re going to be pretty lost here. But let’s be honest… if you don’t know THOSE films you’re probably not reading this review on this site anyhow.
Second is your particular sense of humor. Scary Movie is crude. It’s rude. It’s vulgar and it goes places that a movie in 2016 just can’t or won’t. If you’re offended by gay humor you’re going to have a serious problem with this flick as one of the main characters is so stereo typically gay it’s not even funny. If you’ve got an issue with sexual humor you’re going to be turned off in a big way.
Make no mistake, this IS a horror movie. There’s blood and guts, jump scares and plenty of death. It’s just got parody and humor around every corner as well. As a huge horror fan that has the sense of humor of a 12 year old adolescent this movie might as well have been made for me. Strong recommend.
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