Scary Movie

Scary Movie gives a well-deserved skewering of the teen slasher flicks that began with Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. It also touches upon The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects, The Blair Witch Project, Shakespeare In Love, and countless other movie and commercials. However, the plot and characters of Scary Movie resembles mainly that of Scream, complete with a similar group of friends and a white-masked, black-robed serial killer. The title really does the film no justice. There is nothing scary about Scary Movie. The characters are too dumb (including the murderer) to elicit any fear. Everything in this movie is a send-up, and a raunchy one at that.

Cindy (bright newcomer Anna Faris) is the Neve Campbell character. She is the smart, chaste student amongst her circle of friends at B.A. Corpse High School. Her friends include horny boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams, Outside Providence, Boiler Room), Brenda (Regina Hall, Love and Basketball, The Best Man), her sexually confused boyfriend Ray (Shawn Wayans, The Wayans Bros., Don't Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood), her stoner brother Shorty (Marlon Wayans, Senseless, Mo' Money), Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth, American Pie) and her boyfriend Greg (Lochlyn Munro, Dead Man on Campus, A Night at the Roxbury). Completing the Scream parody is newswoman Gail Hailstrom (Cheri Oteri, Inspector Gadget, Saturday Night Live) and Deputy Doofy (Dave Sheridan), and even Carmen Electra (Good Burger, The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Humans) giving a great parody of Drew Barrymore's opening death scene in Scream.

Director Keenan Ivory Wayans (Most Wanted, The Glimmer Man), who also appears briefly in the movie, together with writing team Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, and Aaron Seltzer mine all the previously mentioned movies to give fill the entire movie with gag after gag, with little time in-between. Wayans manages to keep the pace quick the whole way through. Since there really is no story supporting this movie, it needs to rely on keeping the jokes funny, which it manages to do. Wayans does falter by relying too much on grossing out the audience rather than using actual humor. Scary Movie also undoubtedly pushes the boundary of the R rating, with some of the most low-brow humor present this side of a Farrelly brothers movie. For some of their other jokes, Wayans and company demonstrate that they know their movie trivia. Just as Wes Craven gently mocked horror movies with Scream, Wayans mocks the entire teen genre with Scary Movie. As is the nature of many of these parody movies, none of the jokes stick too long after the movie is over, making Scary Movie a transitory experience at best.

Haro Rates It: Not Bad.
1 hour, 27 minutes, Rated R for strong crude sexual humor, language, drug use, and violence.

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