Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Film Review: Scary Movie (2000)

Scary Movie (Review)
United States/2000
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"I laughed out loud, I chuckled, I smiled, and I had a great time."

A group of high school students are terrorized by a masked serial killer in this spoof of 90s slashers.

Scary Movie follows high school students Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), Bobby (Jon Abrahams), Brenda (Regina Hall), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Greg (Lochlyn Munro), and Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth) — with an occasional appearance from Brenda's out-of-the-loop, stoner brother, Shorty (Marlon Wayans). Our masked serial killer begins picking them off one-by-one, while Cindy tries to convince everyone the past has come back for them. Of course, she gets pummeled more than once for it. Otherwise, there's not much more to say about the plot — really, that's about it. It leads to a fun, gushing climax and a decent ending.

Scary Movie is a spoof of 90s slashers. Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer take center stage, while films such as The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, and even The Matrix also make appearances. All-in-all, I thought it was a very-well executed spoof. It has more than a handful of laugh-out-loud moments and it never forgets its source material. (opposite to films like Scary Movie 5, which were far too random and seem to forget what genre they were spoofing. I mean, really, why add Planet of the Apes, Ted and Inception?) It's certainly vulgar, offensive, and even juvenile, but it's entertaining — some of the gags and jokes were even clever. I even enjoyed the self-aware humor. Much like Scary Movie 2, Ray takes the show with one hilarious scene after another offering plenty of quotables. There are a few dull moments, though. The film also loses some steam by the final act.

The acting is about what you'd expect from a spoof. Anna Faris is a quirky leading lady. Shawn Wayans is a blast. Nothing really stood out as bad in a film that didn't really take itself seriously. Marlon Wayans' Shorty character is a little overdone, but that energy is a lot of fun, too. The film is shot well enough and it sounds good. Director Keenen Ivory Wayans pieces together a comedy with variety and passion for the genre. The humor may be juvenile, but there are plenty of different gags, jokes, and ideas scattered throughout. This film is written by Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. I can feel the love for the horror genre in the playful writing. The quips at common clich├ęs were fun and appreciated. Together, this group crafted an entertaining film. (You can't really say the same now for certain writers — Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer — but I digress.)

Overall, I enjoyed Scary Movie — I always have and I think I always will. It's a fun, self-aware spoof of a genre I adore. Sure, it may be considered juvenile and offensive, but I enjoyed it. I laughed out loud, I chuckled, I smiled, and I had a great time. If you're not easily offended and you want a spoof before they were treated as quick cash-ins, this is a great start.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood, nudity and sex.

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