When I was a child, parody films were just starting out and they were quite famous. Many of these parody films were doing weird retellings of popular films, such as Disaster Film, Vampires Suck, Snakes on a Plane, Not Another Teen Movie, and of course, everybody’s favorite parody film of all time, Scary Movie.
This was perhaps one of the most untouched eras in Hollywood, where anyone with a video camera and a couple of cast members, and a bunch of costumes could make a movie. Some of them, however, ended up succeeding to levels they never expected. Scary Movie was one of those films. However, looking back at it retrospectively with a more mature mindset, it isn’t even a great comedy film at all.
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The Movie Review
Scary Movie is an American horror slasher parody film, and it combines multiple different genres of film together to create something unique out of it. The story takes place after one eventful night when teenager Cindy Campbell and her boyfriend Bobby, as well as their friends Brenda, Ray, Drew, Greg, and Buffy accidentally hit a man with their car. Instead of being upstanding citizens about it, in this particular comedy slasher, they just decide to dump his body in a lake and never talk about it again.
A year later, someone wearing a Ghostface mask and robe starts killing them all one by one. It all starts with the murder of Drew, whose death marks the beginning of them all getting a taste of their own medicine.
Before I begin talking anymore about this, I just need to state plainly that everything that happens in this film is just comedy. Nothing in this film is meant to be serious, and if you are going into this movie that that mindset, you will be sorely disappointed.
This is a film that is supposed to be a parody of multiple different genres of horror, such as classic horror icons like Scream, The Shining, The Sixth Sense, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and for some reason, The Matrix.
Director Keenen Ivory Wayans went on to direct Scary Movie with such chaotic fury that it turns out to be more of a rollercoaster ride in its pacing than it is in the events unfolding on screen.
The film has no set path, events can occur randomly without any indication of something like that happening. Instead of developing and leading up to moments, Scary Movie chooses to randomly have things happen as jokes.
This is why the jokes don’t land at all because there’s no build-up to them, it’s always just one thing happening after another. Most of the laughter that I got as an adult watching this film was just out of embarrassment at the fact that I was actually watching this film. In fact, if you compare it to a satire/parody film like Borat, you’d find this one to have nothing of value while that one will actually make you laugh!
I’m not sure if I want to talk about the acting in this movie, everything including the acting, especially the acting, it’s horrendous. I don’t know what to say other than the fact that this movie introduced us to Anna Faris, whom I adore very much as one of the best comedic female actresses. However, there is barely any substance in this film.
This is why all of the performances in every single sequence of the film feel so bland and boring. Every character has tropes as their personality traits and it gets annoying to watch after a while because that’s not how people should be portrayed in general.
The Bottom Line
My verdict would have been quite positive for this film if I hadn’t rewatched it to write this review. However, I indulged myself in watching the film after 10 years to write this review, and it has completely shifted my perspective.
I wouldn’t mind the fact that this film was absolutely pointless, boring, and annoying to watch if it just had decent comedy. Instead, it’s just a collection of crass and random jokes with an added sense of dumb self-awareness into the mix. It’s not that I have grown out of it, it’s the fact that comedy suffered a huge loss with the release of Scary Movie.