Scary Movie (2000) / Comedy-Horror
MPAA Rated: R for strong crude sexual humor, language, drug use and violence
Running Time: 88 min.
Cast: Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Shannon Elizabeth, Cheri Oteri, Regina Hall
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Screenplay: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Review published July 7, 2000
A parody on the teen slasher movies that have come out of late (and a few other popular films like The Matrix and Usual Suspects), Scary Movie takes on the difficult task of spoofing films that really aren't meant to be taken serious to begin with. Most of the movie revolves around the first Scream film, and in this plot has the ghost-face turn up once again, terrorizing his victims by phone and ripping their guts out. Also lampooned are the I Know What You Did Last Summer films, and teen comedies like American Pie.
I was quite skeptical going in as to how much I enjoyed this film, figuring Scream made fun of itself so you can't really make fun of it again, in addition to the fact that the Wayans have made almost nothing but crap in their respective careers as screenwriters and actors (with the exception of Keenen's Hollywood Shuffle co-writing). You can imagine my surprise that I not only laughed in the first scene which featured Carmen Electra playing the Drew Barrymore role in Scream, but I actually missed a good bit of the dialogue since I was laughing almost the entire scene, and further, through almost the entire movie. As a matter of fact, I don't think I have laughed more while watching a movie since the first Naked Gun, and was quite amazed that how many scenes featured really clever writing even amid the gratuitous bad-taste humor the film is riddled with (which are pretty funny too).
This movie is definitely NOT for everybody. I was astonished at how much the Wayans got away with showing and not get the NC-17 rating I feel it deserves. It also requires that you have watched almost all the movies it ridicules, as it probably won't make much sense otherwise. And, of course, your sense of humor has to be pretty broad since it is all over the place, from scathing high satire to the nastiest of toilet humor.
It has it's share of lame jokes, as most spoofs do, but for every bad moment there's another that will have you falling out of your chair in laughter. As a film, it is about as far from Academy Award material as you can get, but as a comedy Scary Movie has enough laughs to keep you from caring.
-- Followed by Scary Movie 2 (2001), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Scary Movie 4 (2006), and Scary Movie 5 (2013).
©2000 Vince Leo