Scary Movie 4

| April 18, 2006

No matter how bad a film is, every single flick on the planet has at least something going for it. Scary Movie 4 redefines this statement because it has nothing going for it. Its stupid, childish, unfunny dog shit.
First off, this wasn’t from the people that brought you Airplane! And The Naked Gun. This is from the people that brought you My Boss’s Daughter starring Ashton Kutcher. They may be the same people, but there’s a big distinction between the two. I laughed maybe twice at Scary Movie 4, and the problem is that I’m sure I laughed twice during Crash or Munich. Every film has a few chuckles in it, but when it’s a comedy- that’s just treacherous. Especially a spoof! And for the record, I was a big fan of the Scary franchise. But this was just a waste of money, talent and celluloid. Anna Faris is cute as a button as always, but why she signed on to this shit is beyond me. And poor Regina Hall. I respect her decision to come back (despite her being killed off in every installment) because her career will go nowhere. This is all she has. She should ride this wave for as long as she can and good for her for realizing as much. She should become the new star in Scary Movie 5 because God forbid, it is definitely getting made. The rest of the American public got suckered in like I did, giving part 4 the biggest Easter weekend opening EVER.
The movie’s main flaw is its annoying use of slapstick. Slapstick is only funny if it brings many levels of sophistication along with it. Watching Anna Faris get hit by a baseball or Dr. Phil collapse when a panel light falls on him- when neither the ball or the panel light obviously came anywhere near the actors- isn’t funny. It’s ridiculous. You can’t go a solid MINUTE without someone smashing into something or someone. In addition to this- the lines need to be witty, the actors need to be believable and the special effects have to be good, that is if you’re going to have any at all. Scary 4 carries none of these elements, as I found myself slitting my wrists to make the time pass faster. Scene after endless scene goes by without one funny joke. They rip off War of the Worlds for most of the flick, which isn’t even a horror movie. Then the other half is spent poking fun at The Grudge, which doesn’t really work for the Scary franchise due to its multiple similarities to The Ring, which was already spoofed in Scary 3. The best of choices to spoof this time around was The Village, due to the fact that most of the American audience didn’t respond well, to it and pissed on the movie’s poster on the way out. But sadly, no laughs are had even when making fun of a potentially shitty movie from the past.
The man that played Tom Cruise, Craig Bierko, gets more screen time in this flick than the star- Anna Farris. Bierko, who was great as the bad guy in last Summer’s Cinderella Man, appears here as if he couldn’t act his way out of a movie starring Johnny Drama. Some thespians are meant for spoofs, and others are meant for playing villains. Speaking of which- the King of Spoof Acting, Charlie Sheen, dies within the first five minutes. And poor Bill Pullman, still waiting for an Independence Day 2, is the only actor here that appears in a spoof of a previous movie he acted in (The Grudge). Nothing says “my career is over” more. On top of this, the only times I did laugh were at very subtle 9/11 jokes, such as Leslie Nielsen continuing to play with the children in the classroom when an advisor tells him the nation is under attack, or the Alqueda bomber in the background getting the shit kicked out of him by Americans. Yes, I’m going to hell for laughing at such things, but its inappropriate jokes like these that made the first Scary Movie so popular. Then they started pussy-ing out with the PG-13 ratings.
And who do I blame for this horrendous movie? The studio. Because of the studio, Scary Movie will now follow the Nightmare on Elm Street path where the odd installments are decent but the even ones blow ass. Why is this? Scary Movie 2 blew because the filmmakers were only given a year to make a sequel. Scary Movie 4 blew because the filmmakers were given even shorter than that- nine months. It has also been mentioned that the writing of some of the script was put on hold or re-written, due to the under-performance of The Ring 2 and also awaiting the public’s response to War of the Worlds. Take your time, guys. Make it right. They had a while to make Scary Movie 3, and that I feel had a lot to do with its box office success.
Scary Movie 4 is definitely the weakest of the franchise. I wish I could recommend it on video, but its just that bad that I can’t in good conscience recommend it for anything, except for screenwriting instructors to show their students in what NOT to do when making a comedy. If you want to see a good horror movie, your money will be much better spent on Slither.

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