Scary Movie 5 – Film Review
I was so close to not even bothering reviewing this at all.
Ashley Tisdale should really consider throwing a Bynes or a Miley if this is where her career is at, though.
TL;DR Unsurprisingly the worst Scary Movie yet, 5 isn’t a total waste of time. Tisdale shows moments of flair. And the recreations of the movies they’re parodying are pretty faithful. That guy who’s come back from 3 and 4 seriously sucks, though. 2 out of 5 stars.
Having absolutely zero expectations was the only way I was able to bring this thing above a 1.
The plot is mostly a mash-up of Paranormal Activity, Mama, and Black Swan. Tisdale and Dan (Guy from 3 and 4) inherit 3 kids who are found in a cabin in the woods after going missing. Something something they have to live with them in a house fitted with cameras. Parnormal activity ensues, from the kids’ “Mama” following them. Meanwhile, Tisdale has some stupid B-plot where she has to out-ballerina a black chick who is nowhere near as awesome as Brenda. They then become friends, and the plot resolves itself through a banal procession of slapstick “comedy” and non-committal scat humour.
The post credits scene is cute, though.
It’s no surprise that Scary Movie 5’s greatest flaw is, you know, not being funny. From the montage of Tisdale injuring the baby, to the Evil Dead sequence that comes and goes out of fucking nowhere, the laughs just aren’t there.
On the plus side, the editing is a lot more forgiving than I remember 3 and 4 (and the Date/Epic/etc Movies) being. 5 is a lot happier to cut away from everything very quickly. And considering most of the jokes are crap, that’s a big plus.
Why I hate this movie:
Its concept of timeliness is especially jarring. I realise it’s been a long time since 4, so the filmmakers have probably been storing ideas for a while, but some of the references are OLD. For example, Usher pops in for a 2 second Step Up parody. Not even a Step Up sequel parody, but the Channing Tatum, janitor reference. Step Up was released the same year as Scary Movie 4: 2006. Dumb.
Then you’ve got Paranormal Activity, which mainly references the first one. Paranormal Activity was released in 2009. Black Swan was released in 2010. Inception was released in 2010, too. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is Dan’s subplot parody, was released in 2011. And isn’t a horror movie, btw.
And to really cap off the insult, the most prominent plot parody is for Mama. Which was released this year. So Scary Movie 5 doesn’t even have the excuse of being stuck in the past, because it’s evidently capable of including more up-to-date references. Ugh.
Dan legit has the most irritating fake surprise face ever. During the outtakes in the credits, you see him reacting over and over in one scene and it really reinforces just how annoyingly artificial it is. It’s so obvious and knowing.
Black Chick is named Kendra, in a pathetic attempt to fill Brenda’s shoes. Nope.
Lindsay Lohan looks like fucking shit.
There’s an early scene where Snoop Dogg’s character is listing a bunch of horror movies that occur in a cabin in the woods. But he doesn’t include Evil Dead.
Worse, there is an extended sequence later in that very cabin that is explicitly a parody of Evil Dead. Have some goddamn consistency, guys. Fuck.
Kate Walsh is clearly taking Private Practice’s cancellation hard, showing up as Marion Cotillard’s character in the Inception parody.
No surprises seeing Molly Shannon slumming it in a limited, dreary role. If you’ve been on Glee, you’ll do anything.
Mike Tyson. Obvious.
Jerry O’Connell is in the 50 Shades of Grey reference. Being desperate and unfunny is kinda his thing these days. Hopefully he doesn’t carry that baggage to The Veronica Mars Movie.
There’s a sequence where the pool cleaners (parodying Paranormal Activity 3 briefly) have a party. And it’s distractingly meticulous. It’s all physical pool cleaners and shit partying. They obviously went to a crapload of effort for that. It bothers me that they couldn’t be so kind with the rest of the movie.
Oh, and seriously, if there’s no Anna Faris or Regina Hall, why even bother?
Reasons to watch:
Tisdale gets to shine a bit early on during the more direct Mama parodies. She brings the bitchy, rude side of Jessica Chastain’s character. She was born to be a villain.
And she looked pretty good in that wig.
She gets best line when she agrees to looking after the kids: “But the minute it becomes too difficult, I’m giving up.” That’s how I do it, baby.
Heather Locklear appears briefly as Tisdale’s former ballerina mother. If nothing else, she gave me happy memories of the Melrose Place reboot.
Tisdale punches one of the kids.
The Charlie Sheen/Lindsay Lohan stuff is a bit groan-worthy, but they don’t seem too bored. Their Yakety Sax sex scene is actually pretty funny.
As is the post credits scene where the whole movie is revealed to be Charlie’s dream induced by Fake Leo. Lindsay then crashes into the house and tries to offload the blame onto Fake Leo.
Sarah Hyland and Cerie from 30 Rock feature in the Evil Dead parody.
There’s footage of two toy tunnels ramming into each other to suggest the sex scene between Tisdale and Kendra. Dat inspiration.
Oh, and when Tisdale and Kendra go out to the cabin, they use shots of a remote controlled car instead of filming helicopter shots of a real car. It’s pretty fucking amazing.
For the very few things it does right, Scary Movie 5 still cannot be forgiven for everything it does oh so predictably wrong. It’s not the worst thing Ashley Tisdale has ever been a part of, so she can hang onto that. 2 out of 5 stars.