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Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: Keenen Ivory Wayans

Shawn Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Anna Faris
Regina Hall

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What's it about

The survivors of the first film are now in college. When one of their professors decides to do some parapsychology experiments involving an old mansion, the group is recruited along with some newcomers to participate under the assumption that they're in a sleep disorder study. Unfortunately for them, the spirit of the mansion, Hugh Kane, shows up along with wacky and "funny" horror parodies.

Is it good movie?

I admit it. I liked SCARY MOVIE. It was done at a time where horror fans were getting bombarded to death with "me-too" teen slashers and it was about time for someone to take the piss out of them all. I wasn't the only one who liked the film, since it scored $156 million when it was all said and done. So what did the Weinsteins do as a result? Pump out a lame sequel as soon as possible with triple the budget and lame jokes that amounted to gross-outs or sex that were painfully unfunny.

Truth be told, the gags aren't in short supply, as it seems that once one hits the screen (and more often than not, fails), another one comes along to give it a try. It's also nice that the Wayans (and the other five writers of SCARY MOVIE 2) decided to incorporate a large list of films to parody rather than focusing on a handful of recent ones like its predecessor. And to be honest, there are some gags that do elicit a chuckle (like the opening EXORCIST gag).

Acting wise, everyone in the film seems to be like the jokes: tired. Aside from Anna Faris (who seems to be at home doing the comedienne thing), everyone is either completely off (both returning and new) or just plain inconsistent. Again, this probably comes from the fact that the script is all over the place. You know you're desperate for laughs when you have two handicapped characters and are played up for either gross-outs or deprecating laughs.

I keep coming back to it, but the film's biggest problem is the script. Instead of trying to go for jokes that have been built up properly, using parodies of well-known films that can be considered timeless to horror fans, we instead get lame rapid-fire gags from films that no one remembers ten years later. Seriously, anyone remember CHARLIE'S ANGELS? What about DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? SAVE THE LAST DANCE? Of course not. The gags that sort of work are from films like DAWN OF THE DEAD, THE EXORCIST, POLTERGEIST and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR: films that horror fans remember and respect.

SCARY MOVIE 2 angers more than anything. Right from the start, the film was nothing more than an excuse to cash in on the previous film's popularity and it shows. The script is a mess (seven writers worked on this), the majority of the jokes are not funny, are downright insulting in some cases or dated to the point that you're left scratching your head wondering what movie that parody was from. Had the Wayans taken things seriously and focused on what made the first film so great, things would've been different. But no, like so many of the jokes, we get crap.

Video / Audio

Video: SCARY MOVIE 2 is presented in 1080p AVC 1.78:1 widescreen, but the results are anything you'd want to see in HD. The print chosen for the transfer has a bit of damage to it, along with artifacts and edge enhancement. Also, the image itself is on the soft side, and doesn't show off any minute details you'd expect. Basically, this feels like an upconverted DVD with some minor enhancements.

Audio: We're given a English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that's far more pleasant that the video. Dialogue is clean and easy to hear, with a lot of directionality and use of the surrounds. Rear speakers are for the immersion factor, showing off thunder claps and other atmospheric effects. The only problem that I could figure is that because the mix is so busy, the effects at times overpower other effects in a manic frenzy.

The Extras

Lionsgate doesn't reinvent the wheel, porting over all of the original DVD supplements (save for the bonus trailers), but neglects to include the film's trailer (just like the DVD).

First up is an 8-minute "Behind the Scenes" Featurette that functions as a promotional piece for the film, showing off cast, crew and on-set footage. The Wayans gleefully point out how the studio rushed to get this film into production after the success of the first film to make money. Too bad the results are garbage.

Following that piece of fluff is a collection of Deleted and Alternate Scenes running 44 minutes. These scenes essentially amount to a lot more backstory and set up for what little plot there is. There are also a set of alternate endings. Also, like the rest of the gags in the film, every single one of these scenes are NOT FUNNY.

Special Effects Tour focuses on the various effects used in the film, including the vomit rig for the EXORCIST parody at the start of the film. Too bad it runs only six minutes.

"Here Kitty, Kitty" Featurette is a two-minute piece that probably should've been tacked onto the previous featurette. Anyways, this one looks at the various animatronic cats used in the cat fight scene.

Another SFX featurette that should've been combined but wasn't, "Scary Effects" Featurette shows off more effects like breakaway glass, skeletons, and a rotating room.

Finally, "Behind the Makeup" Featurette is again, something that should've been combined. This one focuses on the EXORCIST and ghost effects used in the film. And like all of the special effects featurettes, this one is an all-too brief look at the process. Shows how much the Wayans really gave a sh*t about things.

Last Call

What a surprise. A rushed sequel hoping to capitalize on the success of the first film but fails in every aspect. Stuffed with unfunny (and now dated) jokes, a lousy script and lukewarm performances, SCARY MOVIE 2 is just as big of an insult as the endless parade of late 90s teen slashers that the first movie capitalized on so well. The supplements aren't much better, and show just how painfully obvious that this was one of those "make money fast" schemes by the studio.

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