The only way to approach a movie like Scary
Movie 5, a movie that purposefully and proudly lacks even a strain of cohesive
narrative flow, is by listing statistics. While it may be devoid of hackneyed,
stale things like plot, story and character, Scary Movie 5 does have the
following: at least four actors who have, in recent years, suffered massive
public meltdowns: Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Katt Williams, and to a lesser
extent, Heather Locklear; about a dozen getting-hit-in-the-crotch jokes; several
tons worth of lazy, cheap slapstick; and a fleet of pointless and sometimes sad
celebrity cameos from Mike Tyson, Usher, Lil Bow Wow and Snoop Dog (who happens
to be one of many who get hit the crotch).
The crux of the proto-plot centers on a
young couple, played by Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex, who move into a
demon-possessed suburban home along with their two creepy little children. They
soon become wise to the evil presence and install cameras all over the house,
an allusion to the “found footage” subgenre of horror movies like “Paranormal
Activity” and its sequels.
And that’s about as lucid as the movie
gets. What follows is a kind of parody free-for-all, where anything of any
recent cultural significance is lampooned and torn down.
The opening scene features the
aforementioned Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan making fun of their pending
legal troubles, followed by a clumsy and embarrassing piece of slapstick set to
“Benny Hill” music.
Some things just don’t make any sense at
all, like when Snoop Dog and Mac Miller emerge from the forest with a colossal
joint on their shoulders. In another scene, Heather Locklear gives birth to a
baby while dancing, spewing maternal fluids everywhere and expelling a baby
into a tuba. At this point, the audience may be so numb from the succession of
crappy gags that preceded it that the shock of fetus slapstick doesn’t quite
register and comes off as the stale.
Director Malcolm D. Lee and writer David
Zucker, the man who arguably fathered the spoof-movie genre and directed the
last two installments of the Scary Movie franchise, seem intent on degrading
themselves and everything they come across, which is fine—admirable, even—but
in their hands it’s standard commercial schlock. Everyone can acknowledge that
movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “Scre4m” need to be mocked and degraded,
but if it’s done just to appease the slack-jawed jerks in the audience, as it
is here, then it’s just parody porn, a cheap quilt of sketch-show insults
deliberately designed to satiate drunken teenagers and adults hooked on speed.