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Scary Movie

Rated [R], 88 minutes
Starring Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shannon Elizabeth, Cheri Oteri, Carmen Electra, Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Lochlyn Munro, Regina Hall and Dave Sheridan
Screenplay by Shawn Wayans & Marlon Wayans & Buddy Johnson & Phil Beauman and Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans


After parodying the blaxploitation films of the 1970s in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Keenen Ivory Wayans takes aim at slasher films of the 1980s and 1990s in this satire, which was originally produced under the title Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween. In this parody, a group of teenagers, led by Cindy (Anna Farris) and Buffy Gellar (Shannon Elizabeth) are on the run from a maniacal killer.

It was inevitable that the Scream franchise would lend itself to parody, and what a clever satire it would make. Regrettably, there is no sign of cleverness in this somewhat fatuous excuse for American cinema. Have we gone thus far where even now, it's required that comedy needs to be so obvious? Occasionally, crude can be funny, but the Wayans boys are no Farrelly Brothers, a fairly obvious point. Though there are some clever moments, much of Scary Movie is laden with repletion and heavy handed comedy that leaves one simply asking: Is this really how far we've come? Of course, teens, will appreciate the low-brow jokes, but then they don't know any better. The only thing that would have made this mess worse, would have been if Leslie Nielson had joined the cast.

Carmen Electra, who only appears in the film's Scream-type prologue, proves that she's all body and little else; her comedic abilities are unremarkable. The more interesting performance is from unknown Anna Farris, who does a solid job as Cindy. Some Scream references will prove too subtle for audiences (such as the casting of the high school principal, a rare high point in this movie), and the sequence where the killer gets stoned has promise. But overall, Scary Movie is an unsophisticated mess of a film that fails to really ignite. The one scary aspect of this movie is that it got made in the first place.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Scary Movie, he would have paid...


© 2000 Paul Fischer

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.