Ahh… Scary Movie. It’s not a horror movie in the truest sense of the word, but even before I get into any sort of a review, I will say that it’s a fun ride.
Scare Movie is a horror spoof that bleeds nicely into a dark comedy (See what I did there?) To my recollection, it was the first of these horror spoofs and holds up quite nicely. The film is shot in a very Naked Gun / Airplane-esq style, where there’s always something going on in the background or something just a little “off” from the scene that’s being spoofed. The plot very roughly follows a plot that is a mash up of the original Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
The opening scene is right out of Scream with Carmen Electra playing the role of Drew Barrymore who gets the phone call from Ghostface. The scene plays out with Ghostface tormenting her on the phone. She ultimately escapes the house and runs through the yard… and here’s where the parody begins. She falls, rips her clothing and is left to run away wearing nothing but a bra and panties. Naturally, the front sprinklers come on and now Miss Carmen is running (slow motion of course) in her underwear through the rain. Ghostface catches her and stabs her in the chest in nearly a shot for shot remake of Scream. However in THIS iteration, when the killer pulls the knife out of her chest, her breast implant comes with it. Hilarious. The scene ends when once again she escapes from Ghostface only to be run over by her parents who are returning home. Dad was driving, and was being distracted by a road hummer from mom. Yep… it’s that kind of movie.
The main character of the movie Cindy is played by Anna Faris. She plays the character in a rather awkward, strangely sexual way that works well for the situations she’s put in. The rest of the cast is rounded out by her boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams) and friends Brenda (Regina Hall), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Greg (Lochlyn Munro) and Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth). These teens run through the plot that roughly follows Scream with more than a fair amount of I Know What You Did Last Summer thrown in for good measure. Other pop culture and movie references are in there as well including other entries into the Scream franchise, The Matrix, Usual Suspects and The Blair Witch Project.
As with any spoof movie to really get the most out of Scary Movie, you need to know what it is they’re making fun of. If you’re NOT familiar with the Scream franchise (though, to be fair, if you’re reading this review on Scare Tissue you probably are) and other slasher flicks you’re probably not going to enjoy this. There’s a couple of really good jokes in there, but the majority is pretty over the top. The Shawn Wayans character is queerer than a $3 bill, yet in the climax of the film states that he’s not gay… right. The Cheri Oteri spoof of Courtney Cox’s Gail Weathers is laughable and the “Special Officer” Doofy character played by Dave Sheridan is borderline offensive even for this flick. I’ve never been a fan of stoner humor, but even if I was I don’t think I’d get a whole lot out of Marlon Wayans “Shorty”.
All of that said, this is an enjoyable flick and I’d definitely recommend it if you’ve never seen it. I’m a huge fan of the horror / slasher genres and this is a funny satirical look at them. I’m clearly not the only one that liked this flick either… It had an initial budget of $19 million and grossed over $275 million. The 4th sequel, Scary Movie 5 (aka Scary MoVie) is due out in April of 2013.