Scary Movie


Directed by: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Written by:Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Starring: Shannon Elizabeth, Regina Hall, Lochlyn Munro, Jon Abrahams, Marlon Wayans, Carmen Electra, Shawn Wayans
Released: August 31, 2000
Grade: B

Ever since Flying High, spoofs have been a successful part of cinema culture. They're not difficult to make - you find famous moments from a group of well-known, smash-hit films and take the piss out of them.  I've bagged plenty of teen horror films of late - I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Disturbing Behaviour, Urban Legend and despite being not yet released I think I will include Urban Legend 2.  The time has come for someone to take these films to the cleaners.


Comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans is that someone.  Scary Movie takes a "stab" at every film from Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer to The Usual Suspects and The Matrix. There’s no need to go into further detail because spoofs aren't about plots and storylines - if you've seen the above films, you'll understand all the jokes and have a jolly good laugh at their expense.


For once, overplaying of roles is required, which explains why I enjoyed the characters so much. Special mention has to go to newcomer Anna Faris who plays the lead (some sort of Katie Homes/Jennifer Love Hewitt mix).  She has to play it straight when everyone around her is completely nuts and is the best character of the film.


Bottom line, when it comes to review a film like this, all that is important is the comedic factor and whether the jokes hit the mark?  There were plenty of hilarious scenes (most of which you see in the trailer) but for each one there seemed to be an equal number of jokes that didn't work.  For example, there was a lengthy scene taking-off I Know What You Did Last Summer that was too long with little laughter.  I would have preferred to see the film use a few more original ideas than mimicking these films so closely.


Regardless, Scary Movie is worth seeing from an entertainment perspective.  It's short, funny and contains plenty of really disgusting scenes.  We're due for a new spoof and this film fills the gap nicely.  The funniest scene came near the end when a cinema patron at Shakespeare In Love broke all the taboos - she talked, ate loudly and had her mobile phone ring during the movie.  Just when the masked killer was about to slay her, the other moviegoers did it for him.  If only...


On an interesting side note, the tagline for Scary Movie reads “No Mercy.  No Shame.  No Sequel.”  Believe it or not, given the film’s worldwide success a sequel is in the works.  How ironic it is that a film bagging others for releasing sequels succumbs to the same fate.  I guess it goes to show that in Hollywood, there’s only one thing that’s truly important - money.