The Scary Movie franchise began in 2000, and promised “no sequel,” but we only had to wait a year for Scary Movie 2 and Scary Movie 3 came soon after. Scary Movie spoofed an entire array of teen horror films revolving around the main storyline of Scream, which made for classic viewing. However, Scary Movie 4 not only spoofs horror films and other popular films released lately, it also spoofs pop culture in the United States.
Director David Zucker, who took over the reigns on Scary Movie 3, adds his usual slapstick and unrealistic humor to this film, once more including such scenes like Doctor Phil accidentally sawing off the wrong foot only after claiming that he’s really an electrician, and Cindy Campbell pouring hot coffee over her head to keep her awake instead of drinking it.
Scary Movie 4 spoofs movies such as War of the Worlds, The Grudge, Saw, The Village, Million Dollar Baby, and Brokeback Mountain. It includes pop culture references to Zombies, Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, Dr Phil, Shaq, MTV, I-Pods, and Tom Cruise’s Oprah performance and loaded with cameo’s. It’s filled with the usual sexual humour and is a film that guarantees you will at least laugh out loud more than once.
Leslie Nielsen makes this film, resuming his role as U.S. President Harris who would much rather listen to children read about a duck than worry about the fact that the nation is under attack. This is a reference to Bush’s delayed reaction in September of 2001, somewhat suggesting that underneath the comedy there is a little political commentary. President Harris is a portrayal of how people view the U.S President – a blubbering old man whose stupidity outweighs his man boobs.
Carmen Electra returns from the Scary Movie casualty list as a completely different character – playing a sexy spoof of Bryce Dallas Howard’s blind girl from The Village. Electra loves taking the piss out of herself and we love watching her do so. She should be commended for it rather then to be condemned for it.
Anna Farris, the center of this entire franchise, can somehow remain innocent whilst saying things such as, “I’ve taken balls to the face before.” It’s this factor that plays a part in the comedy and she continues to carry the film when it seems as though it’s circling dangerously around the drain.
Falling down the drain is what happened to quite a few jokes in this film. There were many laughs to be had throughout but it was sporadic with many of them coming after long periods of poor skits. One such skit was a character believing his grandmother to be a zombie and throwing her down a drain after beating her senseless claiming, “that woman raised me from birth!” It’s not even funny just writing and thinking about it. Jokes continuously fell flat, but there were also jokes that were so outrageous and strange that people couldn’t help but laugh.
There is something wrong about a film that references and spoofs so much that it just becomes an empty shell ready for it to be filled with as many satires as it possibly can until you feel like you’re simply watching the same film over and over. Spoofing horror films was what made Scary Movie such a hit, but one can only execute such a well-planned film so many times until it becomes boring. Turning to pop culture to gain a few laughs cheapened the movie experience as the film merely becomes disposable — no one is going to be talking about this film long after the DVD release. But go for the (sporadic) laughs.