|SCARY MOVIE (2000)|
Keenan Ivory Wayans
|"Oh, look at me! I'm all dead!"|
|Time: 88 mins.|
As one of the people who has seen pretty much all of the movies this film spoofs, I was intrigued to see what Mr. Wayans would come up with to make this film fresh and funny. It's obvious from the success of In Living Color that he knows how to be funny. The trailer had some hysterical clips, so I was hoping the rest of the film would be as funny and clever. I should have known better. I am not a fan of gross out comedy and this film has more in common with THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY than any of the horror movies it makes fun of. Because we're now so aware of the horror "formula", wonderfully satired in SCREAM, there's nothing exciting or new in SCARY MOVIE.
Since most horror movies are somewhat funny anyway, to have SCARY MOVIE using the same scenes and adding jokes to them just isn't enough of a difference to make this worth watching. To add "excitement" to the film, they through in tons of grossly, over-the-top sexual and pop-cultural references, which, though funny now, are going to be trite and silly by the time the film hits pay cable. The film uses scenes from SCREAM, SCREAM 2, and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, with a little THE MATRIX, THE SIXTH SENSE, BLAIR WITCH and FINAL DESTINATION thrown in for visual fun. This is all well and good, but it jumps between the films so much that the end result is beyond scattered and disjointed. Since it's mainly short skits to begin with this cutting around doesn't help the flow. It goes without saying that there's no plot, so after about 45 minutes I was starting to get bored.
The film opens with the same sequence from the original SCREAM where the beautiful, yet clueless coed get gutted by a masked knife wielding maniac. Carmen Electra plays the Drew Barrymore role to great comic effect, having fun with her Playboy sexpot image. The film kind of goes downhill from there, mainly following the SCREAM scenario with Anna Faris playing the targeted, brunette, virgin heroine Cindy and Jon Abrahams playing her sexually frustrated, potential killer boyfriend Bobby. Shannon Elizabeth is their slutty, beuaty queen friend Buffy (an ode to Sarah Michelle Gellar who played that role in LAST SUMMER) with Regina Hall, Lochlyn Munro, Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans rounding out the close knit group of friends who wind up on the wrong side of the knife. Each of the characters finds their way into the morgue one way or the other, with the murders being taken from the various films. Shannon Elizabeth and Regina Hall's murders are the most funny and best take-offs from the original scenes.
I have to say, the way they actually ended the movie was quite amusing, but it didn't make the other 80 minutes worth my time. Cheri Oteri and Marlon Wayans steal the show as the bitchy, fame hungry reporter and the stoned out of his mind geeky "Randy" clone. All the other teens are serviceable in the limited, plastic characters they have to portray. If you like gross out humor and have seen the movies they spook, you might find SCARY MOVIE funny. However, I found that great jokes don't make up for mediocre acting and no story. Even a spoof can have class and purpose.