Reel Reviews: Scary Movie 5 kills the laughs

As in all the 'Scary' movies, recent and not-so recent horror films are spoofed for the enjoyment of 12 year olds everywhere.

  • Apr. 19, 2013 6:00 a.m.
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The hapless pack of unimaginative idiots that brought you the first Scary Movie are nowhere to be found as audiences are subjected to another juvenile mockery of films we’ve already seen.

Sure, they’re listed as executive producers, but in movie speak, all that means is that they had an idea, once.

In this film, as in all the others, recent and not-so recent horror films are spoofed for the enjoyment of 12 year olds everywhere. Sexual innuendo, simulated sex, toilet humour, puns and slapstick are the beef inside this week-old burrito.

With most of the star draw in the film being either Grade B or certifiable train wrecks, such as Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan, the bulk of the story is carried out by an ensemble fit for, well, a Scary Movie. (Although, in fairness, there are a few qualified comedic actors in this turkey, for instance Saturday Night Live alumnus Darrell Hammond. Although her part is small, Molly Shannon is probably the funniest performer.)

Our two main characters, Jody (“musician” and TV actor Ashley Tisdale) and Dan (VJ and porn actor Simon Rex), are coming home with the children of his recently deceased brother, Charlie Sheen. In their new neighbourhood, the young family must deal with a variety of spooky situations mocking other movies. For the most part, the story follows the plot of Mama, which is about a young couple who bring home two little girls who have been living with a ghost for a couple of years.

Working through secondary characters (that seem to have nothing to do with any of the others, or the plot) such as Snoop Dogg, Heather Locklear, Katt Williams and Mike Tyson, Scary Movie 5 manages to spoof the following films, rather haphazardly: Evil Dead, The Cabin in the Woods, The Ring, Paranormal Activity, Inception, Sinister, Black Swan, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and somehow Fifty Shades of Grey. This last mockery doesn’t even become clear until you watch the outtakes during the  credits, (which, by the way, are the best part of the movie.) This is a perfect example of the terrible icing on this poisoned cake. Much of this movie doesn’t make any sense due to overall bad filmmaking.

The two of us watched Scary Movie 5 with a very small audience: a teenage boy and his girlfriend, three-or-four 20-somethings, a mother and what seemed to be her 12-year-old son. We heard the occasional snicker from the teenagers, the mom laughed once, the 12-year-old boy laughed a few times, particularly at the slapstick and dirty pictures. Neither the 20-somethings nor Reel Reviews laughed. We didn’t actually expect to, but it seems that even fans of the series (and their target audience) will be disappointed by Scary Movie 5.

We say, “This movie doesn’t deserve our time, energy or a score.”

— Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are freelance movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears Friday and Sunday in The Morning Star.