film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Scary Movie 2000 * * * Stars

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Year: 2000
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Marlon Wayans

With Scary Movie 5 hitting theaters this year, I feel it is my civic duty as a critic, to revisit the original Scary Movie. Out of all the sequels this franchise spawned, I recommend the first one and only the first one. I mean let's face it, sequels are in large part, an inferior product. There have been thousands of them and I can only say that 4 or 5 are quality cinema. There's The Godfather Part II (1974) (in my opinion, surpasses the original), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (not better, but at least equals the brilliance of the first Star Wars), Aliens (1986) (the greatest sequel of all time), and Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) (ha ha just kidding). I can think of a couple more but why bother. Sequels will always be the equivalent of a second string football player, 2nd place at the spelling bee, or new coke (for anyone who was alive in 1985, that one's for you)

As a happy-go-lucky movie enthusiast, I remember seeing the original Scary Movie in a packed theater some thirteen years ago. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my entire life. It felt like I broke a rib or two. Heck, for all I know, I might have coughed up a lung. You see Scary Movie was revolutionary at the time. It was the first real mainstream release to ever spoof the mystery, horror, and slasher genre. It's best asset is that I does whatever it can to generate a laugh. It tries its butt off and succeeds. I admire that. The laughs come at almost a unheard of ratio for a comedy. They are of the extreme gross out kind and you leave the theatre with a truly embarrassing smile on you face. Scary Movie 2,3,and 4 also strive for this entity (in a sort of lazy effort though) and come up short. I don't think it's their fault. You get the feeling really quick that after seeing the first one, the novelty was about to wear off. But hey, these flicks are really cheap to make (especially the first one). And you know that the studios want to still milk the proverbial cash cow (hence Scary Movie 5).

In addition to its cheapness, Scary Movie also has the benefit of being somewhat easy to make (no movie is easy to make but you know what I mean). Its main spoof is of the 1996 mega hit Scream. It follows the plot of that movie very closely (girl gets stalked by killer wearing a mask, no one knows who's responsible till the very end when all is revealed) and even makes a little fun of other films on the side (The Matrix (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)). Things do go off kilter a little bit though when it slips into the plots of the above films mentioned. But again, the laughs are relentless and shocking. And the comedic element is so strong and potent, you really don't want the shenanigans to end.

I will probably go catch a flick this week. It's my passion. Will I go see the 5th Scary Movie, probably, probably not, I haven't decided. I do know one thing, there are only 3 certainties in life. They are death, taxes, and bad sequels. Oh they'll probably make another Scary Movie in a couple of years. After all, cows do need to be milked.

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment