Scary Movie 5

Before Scary Movie 5 started rolling, there was a trailer for A Haunted House – a Marlon Wayans vehicle that is an unholy hybrid of Paranormal Activity and what Marlon Wayans thinks is hilarious. Everybody talks smack, the black women are crazy and cranky and there’s weed involved. Funnily enough, that is exactly what Scary Movie 5 is like.

The plot, such as it is, follows a young couple who adopt two feral children and move into a big house infested with CCTV cameras and the un-dead. That’s it. Of course Jody (an admirable effort by Tisdale) and Dan (Rex) have to stop the malevolent force that is haunting their children.

All the celebrity cameos are shoehorned in at the beginning. Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan (playing themselves) take part in a banal scene when they try to make a sex tape to add to Sheen’s gargantuan collection. The punch line of their exchange is that they’re meant to be poking fun at themselves: cue lots of references to Charlie’s libido and Lindsay’s inability to stay out of prison and not crash her car. They deliver their lines through dead eyes and even deader voices. At least Sheen tries to act, Lohan is running on autopilot. Sheen was in Scary Movie anyway, did everyone decide to overlook that in order to cash in on his #winning?

Next cameo comes in the form of Snoop Dogg, who is taking a friend to the woods to smoke some weed, because that’s all he does. When they find a cabin in the woods, they hide inside, point an arsenal of weapons at each other; then discover the feral children who are later adopted by Jody and Dan. Snoop doesn’t die, he doesn’t rap, he doesn’t even say the word “bitch”, he’s just there because someone thought it would be a laugh. Or maybe he was the only rapper to agree? WAS KANYE TOO BUSY OR SOMETHING?

The Scary Movie franchise has never promised to be something other parody films can aspire to be, but they have got steadily worse as they have gone on. Yes, the special effects in this are crap; Shad “Bow Wow” Moss can’t even fake an amputated leg properly – but that’s the point. However some lines of dialogue are completely out-of-sync, as though they hadn’t even tried to make the ADR fit with what was on the screen. A prime example of poor and lazy film-making.

Thankfully, toilet humour is kept to a minimum, but even then it was too much. Seeing Ashley Tisdale get a mouthful of urine might be funny in some circles – arousing in some weirder ones – but infantile here, and the film’s only fart gag didn’t raise a single laugh. A good effort was made with the slapstick and comic violence, but there are only so many times you can watch injury befall a baby, or a child (that gets into a full scale punch up with Jody) without a) getting bored or b) feeling uncomfortable. Ash as Jody’s BFF Kendra is relied on to provide a lot of the humour through the fact that she swears loads and acts how Hollywood likely believes to be “ghetto”. This entails finger-snapping, neck-rolling, twerking round a stripper’s pole and everything just shy of shrieking “HOLE MAH EARRINGS!”. FFS.

The parody aspects of the film were shoehorned in also. The horror spoofs were to be expected, but for some unknown reason it veered off into Inception territory. Not only was it devoid of humour, it felt dated (Inception was out three years ago and South Park has done it since, only ten times better). Ben Cornish’s Dom Kolb, a scarily accurate rendition of Leonardo DiCaprio’s intense performance in Inception, was a stroke of genius. Sadly, it was ruined by Dom growing breasts in the dream world and fondling them. Black Swan is spoofed as well, for no reason other than for Jody and Kendra to kiss and simulate sex later on in the film. The Cabin in the Woods is tenuously included, but there’s no point – that film was a parody in itself so the joke ends up being redundant.

Scary Movie 5‘s ONE saving grace is the relationship between the two female leads. Tisdale and Ash clearly have a good rapport and it comes across well on screen. These two need their own ghost hunting spin-off, but for the love of God don’t let a Wayans anywhere near it.

The tagline of Scary Movie reads “No mercy. No sequel. No shame” and truer words were never spoken in relation to this franchise. In total there have been FIVE Scary Movies. To be honest, Scary Movie 4 was stretching it. The departure of Anna Faris, who finally saw the light and realised she was better than the tripe she was starring in, should have brought an end to the whole sorry mess. When even the Wayans brothers (that’s Marlon and Shawn to be precise – there are five Wayans brothers) decide not to star, it’s time to call it a day.

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