Scary Movie 4
April 14, 2006
Craig Mazin, Jim Abrahams, Pat Proft, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Anna Faris as Cindy
Jessica McLeod as Little Girl
Regina Hall as Brenda
Craig Bierko as Tom Ryan
Bill Pullman as Henry Hale
By now most are familiar with the concept ofScary Movie: The hapless and accident-prone Cindy (Anna Faris) repeatedly finds herself in life threatening situations as she goes about her life consisting of a series of situations based on popular horror movies. The first one was just too stupid for my taste and I turned off the video player part way through (DVD players were still a bit expensive back then, so I likely watched it on VHS). In my humble opinion,Scary Movie 2 wasn’t any better. It was the Wayans family, from “In Living Color” fame, who ran the show in those days. Funny in that show, not funny afterward. That’s where Jamie Foxx came from too, and I never understood the appeal of that yahoo… but I digress.
Scary Movie 3 saw David Zucker take the helm, known for Airplane! and the short-lived television series Police Squad as well as the following Naked Gun films. Now we’re talking! The Zucker brand of humor (Surely you can’t be serious! I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley) is right up my alley and Scary Movie 3 was a big win, focusing on lampooning The Ring and Signs and raising the comedy to a new level by adding the “Zucker Element”. Alas, alack… then came Scary Movie 4.
Perhaps the concept of Cindy stumbling through famous horror movies while accidentally bonking people on the head is a bit tired. Let’s face it, this has been done repeatedly. Maybe, though, it is the pool of horror movies from which to draw that plunged the last nail in this coffin. Hard to say, but I do know that having War of the Worlds and The Villiage as primary themes didn’t help matters much. I actually liked The Village… the biggest problem may have been War… I mean really, this film starred Tom Cruise in his goofiest and most poorly acted role ever. To lampoon Cruise in this film is an experiment in terror. And not the good kind.
I love David Zucker and have enjoyed his particular brand of humor a great deal over the years. Admittedly over- the- top slapstick treatments of horror have never been a personal favorite, and in the case of Scary Movie 4 even Zucker couldn’t save it. This isn’t the end of the line for this franchise though, as Scary Movie 5 is in development with a possible release date in 2011. If you love the franchise for it’s own sake, go ahead and watch (and enjoy) Scary Movie 4. The rest of you, stick to the good stuff.