‘Scary Movie 5′ Review

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Scary Movie 5 Evil Dead Scary Movie 5 Review

Continuing the horror comedy series created by Shawn, Marlon, and Keenan Ivory Wayans, Scary Movie 5 is a relatively clean slate for the franchise – with very few returning faces behind or in front of the camera. As with prior entries, the plot is a thin piece of storytelling designed to string together disconnected parody scenes and over-the-top gags. This time, the basic Scary Movie setup kicks-off with adoptive parents Dan (Simon Rex) and Jody (Ashley Tisdale) who arrive home with three orphaned children – and soon witness supernatural events occurring. With the help of friends and specialists, including Katt Williams and a genetically enhanced chimpanzee, the pair determine that they are dealing with a paranormal entity – setting out to banish the trouble-making spirit.

In the time since Scary Movie 4 (back in April 2006), audiences have been treated to a number of well-received box office horror hits – meaning that Scary Movie 5 has a wide array of well-known properties to riff-on, including: Paranormal ActivityScream 4InsidiousSinisterThe Cabin in the WoodsEvil Dead, and Mama. Does the latest entry make smart use of this enjoyable stable of spooky films and deliver a humorous horror parody with plenty of laughs?

Simon Rex Ashley Tisdale Scary Movie 5 Scary Movie 5 Review

Simon Rex and Ashley Tisdale in ‘Scary Movie 5′ 

Unfortunately, Scary Movie 5 is another step down for the already flailing series – repeatedly relying on bottom of the barrel imitation in place of biting satire. Moviegoers may disagree on the quality of the original films in the Scary Movie franchise but, even when those installments failed to provide intelligent laughs, some of the jokes could at least illicit guilty chuckles. However, without any of the original filmmakers Keenen Ivory Wayans (White Chicks) and David Zucker (Naked Gun) or stars Anna Faris, Regina Hall, as well as Marlon and Shawn Wayans, Scary Movie 5 forgoes any attempt at earning laughs. Instead, the film pushes a disconnected mess of brainless mockery and B-list movie stars.

Singer/actress Ashley Tisdale (Hellcats) gives the lead role her best shot but Scary Movie 5 undercuts inventiveness and comedic timing with choppy one-line-at-a-time editing cuts – meant to highlight already eye-rolling dialogue. In fact, director Malcolm D. Lee (Undercover Brother), forces a number of painfully noticeable (and distracting) audio dubs to ensure that viewers can clearly hear every word in a callow gag – even when the voiceover is poorly synced and makes his onscreen performers look awkward.

Of course, no one expects award-winning acting in a Scary Movie film but this is the first installment in the series where it’s downright uncomfortable to watch the cast attempt to salvage their appearances – in service of one-liners that are not nearly worth the effort. In previous films, the leads whole-heartedly committed to the absurdity, helping to engage and sell viewers on the foolishness. In part 5, it’s clear that Tisdale (along with other performers including Erica Ash and Molly Shannon) are not fully convinced – merely trying to make the best of their respective (and unfunny) scenes.

Charlie Sheen Lindsay Lohan Scary Movie 5 Scary Movie 5 Review

Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan in ‘Scary Movie 5′

In fact, there are actually a number of talented people involved in the film but Scary Movie 5 makes poor use of them. Up and comers like Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and Katrina Bowden (Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) are relegated to shamefully idiotic and unfunny bit parts in favor of on-the-nose screen time for tabloid stars like Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. Normally it’s entertaining to see celebrities poke fun at their public personas but the Lohan and Sheen scenes (stay after the credits) aren’t just in bad taste, given their actual destructive and on-going legal problems, they’re not very funny – relying on the absolute lowest and most obvious stunts imaginable.

In lieu of earning laughs through worthwhile satire (inspired parody that toys with expectations and themes), Scary Movie 5 continuously chooses the most unimaginative or disgusting direction for nearly every single attempted laugh. It’s not a new approach for the franchise but this time Lee hammers the same pranks until they go from being stale to irritating – without also injecting many fresh or unexpected moments. The few surprises that are included (such as a spontaneous pool vacuum keg party) still suffer from prolonged exposure – and make absolutely no sense in the context of the already thin plot progression.

As mentioned, the story is little more than thread tethering a series of spoofs together but few of the individual parodies follow any plot point to worthwhile conclusion – even when isolated from the larger film. Despite a heavy focus on a Mama-inspired storyline, potential threats are never explored or connected and, as a result, it’s often unclear what to focus on in any given scene – making it impossible for the film to develop humorous setups or provide worthwhile callbacks.

Ashley Tisdale Scary Movie 5 Scary Movie 5 Review

Jody and Aiden in ‘Scary Movie 5′

Worst of all, Scary Movie 5 makes poor use of great horror films and throws a steady stream of obscene and flimsy ideas at the audience – in the hopes that one or two will illicit a laugh. A few viewers might giggle when a plus-sized character slips into a bikini or could enjoy watching a grown man punch a child in the face. Still, most viewers will find that Scary Movie 5 is bottom of the barrel fare that makes uninspired choices at every turn. Quality parody is supposed to say something intelligent about its targeted material but, whenever there’s a chance for smart satire, Scary Movie 5 introduces a new poop joke instead.

Admittedly, the Scary Movie series was never meant to attract a wide array of cinema lovers. It was designed to target a specific chunk of potential ticket buyers with the promise of over-the-top humor in fun horror parodies – and, even if the series wasn’t for everyone, the films delivered worthwhile laughs to their intended audience. Unfortunately, Scary Movie 5 is a dumbed down and hollow version of the core formula – resulting in an idiotic (and unamusing) attempt at parody that is tedious not fun.

If you’re still on the fence about Scary Movie 5, check out the trailer below:

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Scary Movie 5 runs 85 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language, some drug material, partial nudity, comic violence and gore. Now playing in theaters.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Our Rating:

1 out of 5
(Poor)

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TAGS: scary movie 5

41 Comments

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  1. Is that the lowest your rating system goes?

    • Agreed… was hoping for a minus option

      • Yeah 1 star is way to high of a rating. That would imply that there was at least one funny part in this whole movie. The only reason I sat through it, was bc I got to see it for free.

  2. Excellent review. I smiled throughout reading it then chuckled out loud at the punchline of the rating.

    They ain’t paying you enough to have to sit through this, I am afraid.

  3. Throughout my time visiting this site, I haven’t seen a movie get a 1 star, Whoa!!

  4. 1 star is more than I was expecting. Was expecting half star or no stars.

    • Too bad a one star is a min you can give. This movie deserves less!

  5. I’m sorry you had to review this, Ben. But this was an awesome read. It’s always fun to read a negative review of a terrible movie.

  6. i cant believe you gave it that high of a rating!! haha. i was expecting about a half star (or lower, if only you could give movies like a quarter of a star).

    • negative black star.

  7. I saw the trailer for Scary Movie 5 in front of Oblivion today and I didn’t laugh once or raise a corner of my mouth. I’m not kidding. This must have been the unfunniest trailer for a comedy movie bar none. Usually a comedy trailer can at least score a chuckle here and there. But with Scary Movie 5? Absolutely nothing. I was stone-faced like a poker champ. Quite the achievement, congrats to whoever made this piece of crap.

  8. I liked scary movie 1-3 and thought 4 was meh. But I still wanna know why Scary movie 5 even exist!?

  9. Im so sorry ben, this looked like the worst piece of…well yknow, you watched it.
    I mean, the waynes bros. abandoned this series, the waynes bros.

    • Funny!

  10. Bad review for a terrible movie but I can guarantee it’ll be a top 3 movie as far as US box office takings and there will be a Scary Movie 6 because of it. Unfortunately.

  11. I like it more than 1 star, to me , it is what it is..But found some parts funny..I do miss Leslie Neilsen though..He was good in the last one, and to me, this was funnier than Haunted House..Haunted House was just profane, without being funny

  12. i made fun of MAMA way before they can even think of it.

  13. What the hell is Tisdale thinking? She’s a great looking girl, actually has a bit of talent, I would think she could do better than this. Anyway, I don’t care all that much. If Zucker is not involved, I have no interest. Time for the series to die. Sorry, I really hated the Wayan bros. installments.

    • Actually David Zucker is listed as a co-writer.

      • Ah damn. Well, he must have lost his touch then, or is not as involved, just tossing out ideas here and there.

  14. Would it be weird if I laugh reading this review but not laughing at all while watching the movie in theatre?

  15. Honestly i thought they were all crap after the second one. Personally I feel they just went downhill each movie they make. I was expecting to be crap and I was still going to go see it this week but after reading the review I think I will wait for it to come out at redbox and maybe waste the dollar to watch it

    • Honestly, I thought the first one was crap and that was the best one.

    • Save the dollar. But more important, the two hours of your life. Watch paint dry for two hours. You will be more entertained.

  16. Do Simon Rex and Charlie Sheen play their same characters from SM3?

    I thought 3 & 4 were the best of the series. Always more of a Zucker fan than Wayans.

  17. Wow, you mean the name Wayans is no longer synonymous with major effort and huge payoff of hilarity? It seems likely yesterday that White Chicks was out and people were talking about it. I think Ebert pointed out that the very black Wayans playing the very white “chicks” had a visually disturbing quality akin to terrible burn damage, and yet their insultingly fake “girl voices” combined with the disturbing makeup seemed seamless to the other characters. Too much suspension of disbelief for my tastes. I find dragons and aliens more plausible. Wayans have tried to sell some awful crap to the world. They are either cynical as hell or just shockingly out of touch. Worse yet, there are several of them and they appear to be multiplying! A few years ago I saw a young man delivering a Wayans-quality performance and shuddered at the thought that people would emulate such sucky mediocrity of yesteryear. Much to my dissapointment, he turned out to be the next generation of Wayans. His humor looked just as dated and unfunny as his predecessors.

    As for the reviewer saying Lohan and Sheen are too “on the nose”, that astute observation was even evident in a preview. To have the trail wreck that is Lindsey joking about car crashes when she is a confirmed dangerous psycho behind the wheel is beyond tasteless. These days we already have a really creepy amount of leeway for “exhausted” starlets who get behind the wheel and almost kill somebody. It almost seems as though a few DUI incidents and prescription drug entanglements are expected, acceptable rights of passage, for young women in particular. The gravity of potentially killing yourself or your friends or a bunch of unlucky strangers is obviously lost on a **** like her who treats it all as the setup for a punch line.

    Picking up a tranny hooker or accidentally falling asleep in your neighbor’s kid’s room are the sort of things the public might have laughed at and let slide through self-mockery, but this is a new level of social irresponsibility to be winking about as though it’s all just funny after the fact. It’s only funny if someone else is pointing out what a pathetic waste of life these stars are. When they are in on the joke it means that they still don’t get it. What they have done, be it wasting their brains on crack rocks or living with no regard for the safety of others, is not okay or acceptable or funny in and of itself.

    Despicable behavior shouldn’t be rewarded or self-spoofed. It does us all a disservice. Every time Charlie Sheen is in a commercial that makes him seem like a heroic bad boy hero or manly role model I get disgusted. What are people thinking!? His story was almost an unmitigated disaster and tragedy. He looked like a junkie’s corpse on a few occaissions, blathering like an idiot, and he nearly was just that. Why is that funny? I bet Emilio and Martin find his antics less amusing. Being a detriment to society at this point, I wonder whether his next OD will be laughed about or mourned.

    “Winning” should be a quote used only jokingly, as a reference to the sad absurdity of the premise that a withering junkie is on the ball.

  18. As soon as I read that Anna Farris was not in it I knew it was going to be no good.

  19. Ben I’m sorry you had to watch this. Why did you Torture your Brain cells with this? I mean I’m all for a good laugh , but really?

    Cheers to you, for doing so though.

  20. I’ve only ever laughed out loud to a handful of the scenes of ALL the previous Scary Movie movies, so this comes as no surpise. Too bad too, because In Living Color, the Wayans previous baby, had great stuff all throughout. I mean, toilet humor and idiocy is fine in small doses, and I know the American public has been dumbed down considerably, but come on Wayans’. Try a little harder.

  21. Walked out 45 min in. Could not take anymore. Where are Anna faris & the Wayans bros? I loved the first 4. This one is awful.

    • You should have asked for your money back.

  22. There’s a certain art to writing parody and a lot of people just don’t have it. People need to watch Airplane or Top Secret again just to get a clue. Nothing is random (well, maybe a tiny bit) in those movies, the timing is impeccable, editing is well done, and there are jokes you only see later after a second or third viewing. In the Wayan’s it’s right there the first time and that’s it, obvious, mugged and overdone.

  23. I thought some parts were pretty funny. However, it did seem to drag on in some parts.

  24. This is easily one of the worst movies I have seen in my life. The review above accurately describes it.

  25. I got a chuckle or two out of the trailer. But I have no desire to see this in theaters. I’ve never seen any of them in the theater. Not my cup of tea.

  26. Superstar vs Half a Star

  27. Wow, that trailer SUCKED. I personally love Scary Movies (except number two), but don’t know if I’m going to see this one. With the original cast totally gone, this just smells like a sad attempt to get some money. Scary Movies were about Cindy. No Cindy, no Scary Movie.

  28. Ohhh BIIiiigggg effin surprise that

  29. Seems like you put in more work for this review than they did on the script.

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