Scary Movie 4

Review Date:
Director: David Zucker
Writer: Craig Mazin, Jim Abrahams
Producers: Craig Mazin, Robert K. Weiss
Anna Faris as Cindy
Craig Bierko as Tom
Regina Hall as Brenda
You know the story by now: this is the fourth film in a line of “scary movie” spoofs, with this round focusing on the storylines from movies such as WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE GRUDGE, THE VILLAGE and the SAW flicks, as everyone hopes that audiences will still find much to chuckle about when a man gets kicked in the nuts. Well, that part is still funny to me, but the rest…well…
Meh. Much like any other “spoof flick”, you basically go into these movies hoping that the majority of the jokes will be funny – versus unfunny — and if the percentage falls anywhere over the 50% mark, you go home happy, as most parody films throw everything and the kitchen pantry onto the screen in the hopes of most of it striking humorous with folks. In this case, most of it was unfunny, in fact, it was almost like watching a serious movie that was simply re-creating scenes from many big genre hits from last year, specifically WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE GRUDGE, THE VILLAGE and SAW, while making sure to kick someone in the balls every now and again, or have someone hit their head against something in the hopes that audience members would be the same people who religiously follow “America’s Funniest Videos”? I wasn’t one of those people, as most of the stuff just sat there, looking a lot like the aforementioned films (big kudos to the design people for making it all look so authentic though), but not being funny, which the last time I checked…was the actual purpose of the SCARY MOVIE series! Sadly, it’s no secret that sequels in general are made for monetary purposes, and unlike the original SCARY MOVIE (the only real funny one, in my opinion), the follow-ups were grabs at cabbage, and unfortunately that generally doesn’t bring out the best in material.

This film is a perfect such example with most jokes falling flat (or being pratfalls or fart/shit jokes—although the urine gag made me laugh), especially obvious crap like jabs at Michael Jackson, the lame BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN parody and bling-bling shtuff. Thankfully, a handful of bits did make me giggle like a schoolgirl including the play on MILLION DOLLAR BABY (yeah, I’m not sure why it was in the movie either, but just go with it!), all of the stuff with the hilarious SAW doll, the one line in which Dr. Phil says the word “shit” and the parody of the now infamous Tom Cruise appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. Major ups to Craig Bierko for coming up with some hilarious over-the-top stuff during that sequence. And, of course, a SCARY MOVIE review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the always-adorable Anna Faris, who continues to do a great job as the clueless lead blonde bimbo with a soft voice, but is sadly left with pretty sad-sack material to deal with. Overall, the film could not have surpassed the 80-minute mark, so if you’re looking for a quick video fix a couple of months from now, you might want to rent it along with other better movies, but overall, all of the 5-second cameos from people like Carmen Electra, Shaquille O’Neal, L’il John, Chingy, Chris Elliot, Mike Tyson, Michael Madsen, Charlie Sheen et al (I’m not including the great Bill Pullman because I actually think this was a “role” for him), aren’t going to save a mostly unfunny script in a mostly unfunny series. Oops, I almost forgot the unconscionably unfunny Leslie Nielsen as the President…horrible stuff.

Note to filmmakers: Don’t make another SCARY MOVIE movie until you actually have funny material, as opposed to just the desired number of films to parody. You’re disgracing the original flick, man! Either that, or jack the PG-13 rating back up to an R. A few F-bombs never hurt anyone…

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Scary Movie 4



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