Director: Keenan Ivory Wayans
Cast: Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Chris Masterson, Regina Hall, David Cross, Marlon Wayans, Chris Elliott, Kathleen Robertson, Tim Curry, Tori Spelling and James Woods
Plot: A group of students are tricked into spending a night in a haunted house as an experiment, becoming the target of a malicious ghost.
Scary Movie is the kind of movie that doesn’t deserve a sequel. Yet here we are, the writers, the Wayan Brothers providing their usual streak of mindless parody and satire to beloved movie franchises, bring us a follow-up to a movie that got far too many fans for what it deserves. And they haven’t seemed to have learned too much since last time. The first scene – less anything connecting to the overall plot and more a stand-alone sketch, joking about the Exorcist – is Scary Movie at its worst. It takes the plot to Exorcist and crams it full of puking jokes, Catholic paedophile priest jokes and a scene where a possessed girl pisses all over a carpet. In fact, it is almost talented how tasteless the Wayan Brothers can be in such a short space of time. To make matters worse, James Woods, an actor I quite appreciate, is dragged right into the sorry mess. It is almost an attempt to make the gross-out gags more acceptable – if a veteran actor like Woods is game for having violent diarrhoea on camera, perhaps the audience should be less prudish with our comedy? In reality, it just serves as a prime example of how embarrassing this style of comedy is, tarnishing careers and showing no empathy with the viewer.
It does get better when we get to the main cast. Perhaps better is the wrong word – it just chooses a setting that suits its style of jokes better. In the last movie, Scary Movie tried to parody Scream, which didn’t work in the slightest as it was a parody in itself. Here, Scary Movie 2 shows a moderate amount of intelligence by rectifying this mistake. For one, the Haunting, the main movie that finds itself the victim of Scary Movie’s poor joke-telling, isn’t too much good in itself. There are few moments when we feel sorry for the source material. Also, when the plot gets going, Scary Movie abandons the Haunting’s plot and just parodies haunted house movies in general. It is a little easier to get to grips with. It is less about dragging the Poltergeist into ill repute with its jokes, but more using its clown villain for a gag (that admittedly earned a chuckle from me). Scary Movie 2 does find better jokes to make its running time more bearable. There is a pretty amusing scene where Anna Faris, trapped in a freezer, uses a collection of random objects MacGyver style, to somehow make a tractor. There is also a clever running joke that turns the whole ‘Let’s just be friends’ cliché from high school movies into its literal meaning. Buddy goes from yearning potential love interest to Anna’s macho guy best friend, stealth wedgieing her and punching her in the stomach when she least expects it, clueless at how to hang out with a female. That was clever and moments like this show the comedy potential behind its stars. I am a big fan of Anna Faris, but in the earlier two Scary Movies, she hasn’t quite managed to escape the dredge of the script to flaunt her comedic timing. On the whole though, Scary Movie 2 doesn’t have too much to recommend. The jokes have no boundary, being taken to their absolute limit in terms of gross-out. Even Family Guy understands that sometimes subtle is the best form of joke-telling. Scary Movie 2 is frustratingly incapable of implying a joke, rather than just showing us a greasy manservant stick his crippled hand up a turkey’s anus. It is embarrassing how much this movie falls back on wheelchair jokes, as though it is willing to make a whole other movie with paralysed legs jokes. Its salvation comes in the fact that by now you have given up expecting anything more from the material. It comes at no surprise, when the movie hits its final 20 minutes and parodies a Matrix fight scene (oh, now it’s Charlie’s Angels – same difference!), and the hit-and-run joke from the first Scary Movie.
Final Verdict: Better in the fact that it seems to be mocking horror more than anything specific, but the jokes still leave a lot to be desired.