Scary Movie

Directed By: Keenen Ivory Wayans

Starring: Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Shannon Elizabeth, Jon Abrahams, Kurt Fuller, Carmen Electra, Lochlyn Munro, Cheri Oteri, and Dave Sheridan

Spoof movies have never been world-class entertainment, but they've descended to new lows in recent years.  I look at a movie like Paranormal Activity spoof A Haunted House and wonder just what the hell happened.  When did they get so bad?  There was a time when the low-brow humor of parody movies was well-balanced with genuine satire.  Now, these movies are just oversexed trash.  With Scary Movie 5 on the horizon, I decided to revisit the original Scary Movie and highlight what a decent spoof movie can really be.

When teen Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) is murdered by a mysterious masked killer named Ghostface, the town goes on high alert.  Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) and her boyfriend Bobby Prinze (Jon Abrahams) try to go on with life as usual, but the murder has turned their high school into ground zero.  Cindy's friends Buffy Gilmore (Shannon Elizabeth), Greg Phillipe (Lochlyn Munro), Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall), and Ray Wilkins (Shawn Wayans) all feel the same way.  The local sheriff (Kurt Fuller) begins a manhunt for this killer, and his prime suspects are those who were closest to Decker — her friends and classmates.  Meanwhile, the media goes into a frenzy, and desperate reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri) turns to Buffy's mentally challenged brother, "Special Officer" Doofy (Dave Sheridan), for the inside scoop on the latest developments with the killer at large.

Scary Movie is irreverent.  It's offensive.  It's downright outrageous.  Regardless, it's one damn funny film.  Keenen Ivory Wayans and his cast hit the horror genre hard.  With plenty of sharp wit, they highlight the inadequacies of horror movies in a really fun way.  Spoofing films like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Blair Witch Project, they spare mercy on no major horror film of the 90s.  They even step outside the genre and get a few jabs at other films of the day including The Usual Suspects, Titanic, and The Matrix.  Ultimately, this is the right way to parody horror movies, and Hollywood needs to go back to this formula of raunchy satire.

Beyond spoofing movies, Scary Movie offers plenty of hilarious commentary on America in general.  From racial stereotypes to talking at the movies, this movie hits home in more ways than one.  Wayans and his cast even have a little fun with teen drama Dawson's Creek and the famous Budweiser Whassup commercial.  They leave no stone unturned, and they do it all in good nature.  That's the mark of a good comedy.

As much as I enjoyed Scary Movie, I must admit that it occasionally descends to some low points.  It steps over the line and gets a little too dirty at times.  With all the big laughs Wayans and his cast deliver, I can definitely forgive them for getting just a little too wild at times.  Scary Movie gets a strong 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.