Scary Movie 5

Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

Starring: Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex, Erica Ash, Molly Shannon, Heather Locklear, J.P. Manoux, Jerry O'Connell, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and Morgan Freeman

How many times have you gone to an R-rated film and been appalled to see parents bringing their kids to the theater?  I've honestly lost count at this point.  Whether it be some violent, bloody horror flick or the latest rude and crude comedy, we've all sadly been there.  It's needless to say that when I saw half a dozen kids walk into the theater for Scary Movie 5, I was stunned.  What parent in their right mind would bring their kids to a sequel whose predecessors deliver equal doses of blood and sexuality in the most tasteless way fathomable?  Then, I found out Scary Movie 5 was given a PG-13 rating, and things only got stranger from there.

When Charlie Sheen (self) and Lindsay Lohan (self) have a wild sexual episode that involves cameras, tag team partners, and horses, the night can only have a bloody end.  Sheen goes missing and is presumed dead.  Lohan is arrested by the LAPD out of habit.  Sheen's three kids go missing as well.  Sometime down the road, Snoop Dogg (self) and his friend Mac Miller (self) go to smoke some weed in the woods, but get caught by what they perceive to be one of President Obama's drones.  Fleeing with their weed, the two end up in some cabin in the woods.  There, they find two unkempt girls and a baby who appear to have been in the wild for some time.

Dan (Simon Rex) and his punk rock chick girlfriend Jody (Ashley Tisdale) are living the good life when he learns that his brother Charlie's three children are alive.  At the advice of the psychologist currently caring for them, Dan and Jody take the kids into a home owned by the hospital for evaluation purposes.  Having no interest in having children whatsoever, Jody is unhappy with the situation to say the least.  Soon, however, she finds that she's not the only maternal figure in the kids' lives.  There's some mysterious figure to whom they refer as "Mama", and she's got an ax to grind against their uncle and would-be aunt.  Meanwhile, Jody joins a production of Swan Lake and finds a frenemy in fellow dancer Kendra (Erica Ash).

Now rated PG-13, this fifth installment in the Scary Movie franchise is a strange affair altogether.  We've got vacuum cleaners of all kinds partying like rock stars.  We've got a sad, ghettoized parody of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.  We've got Oscar-winning screen legend Morgan Freeman mysteriously narrating this bizarre spoof movie as it unfolds.  Scary Movie 5 is rarely funny, expectedly stale, and totally underwhelming.  All in all, the movie is just an epic failure on so many levels.

It's been seven years since the abomination that was Scary Movie 4, so there are plenty of movies to spoof.  Director Malcolm D. Lee recognizes this and tries to parody everything under the sun.  Among horror movies, Lee tackles Mama, Sinister, Paranormal Activity 4, and even last weekend's Evil Dead.  Outside the horror genre, he aims for Black Swan, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Inception.  With all these jokes about all these movies, Lee forgets the most important thing of all for a comedy.  He forgets to bring the humor!  I distinctly recall laughing once and only once in this 90 minutes of so-called comedy.  With this in mind, Scary Movie 5 can easily be added to the list of unfunny garbage I've seen this year.  In particular, it joins the ranks of Movie 43 and A Haunted House.

His cast is equally awful.  As the Jessica Chastain/Natalie Portman character, Ashley Tisdale doesn't get the job done despite plenty of opportunity.  Tisdale was clearly cast in her role for her looks because she doesn't have the chops to carry a comedy.  Scary Movie 3 veteran Simon Rex doesn't bring much to the table either.  Primarily satirizing the dumb dads we see in all these supernatural horror flicks, he repeatedly delivers unimpressive attempts at slapstick humor that border on self-abuse.  Sadly, neither Tisdale nor Rex serves up a worthwhile performance.

Our two leads aren't half as bad as their supporting cast, however.  It's needless for me to really tackle the performances by Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.  Performances this trashy and awful speak for themselves.  I can talk about Molly Shannon though.  She really drops the ball in this movie.  In her send-up to Winona Ryder's Beth Macintyre, Shannon just tries too hard to be funny.  Her performance is over-the-top and hardly amusing.  Finally, we have the Swan Lake understudy Kendra played by Erica Ash.  In this role, Ash singlehandedly takes black people a few steps back on the very weekend we're celebrating the progress made by baseball legend Jackie Robinson with 42.  Bringing a stripper pole to the ballet does no good for anyone.  It's just distasteful and embarrassing. 

There is one genuinely amusing moment in Scary Movie 5.  That's when Snoop and Mac Miller are staring at a cabin in the woods trying to figure out which movie in the horror canon is about a cabin in the woods.  Their obvious homage to The Cabin in the Woods is a way to send up the horror legends of old.  Aside from this, I can't think of another moment in the movie that even made me chuckle.  It's all just so strangely stale.  It's as if the Scary Movie franchise was castrated and could only rely on dumb attempts at slapstick humor.  In a way, it's just as bad as any other horrendous Scary Movie flick except that it’s not as raunchy.  There's no way you're getting through this one without getting inebriated.  Given the frequent inclusion of weed in these spoof movies, it might be a good time to go for some liquid marijuana shots.  Scary Movie 5 gets a wasted rating.