‘Why bother?’ is the phrase that comes to mind instantly upon seeing the title of the film. Well, Scary Movie 3 managed only slightly to bring us back from the pathetic depths that Scary Movie 2 took the franchise. With David Zucker taking over from the Wayans Brothers, the film had its moments, even if they had to resort to spoofing non-horror films such as 8 Mile. With Scary Movie 4, however, we see that they have well and truly run out of ideas, as the last two years’ worth of horror flicks don’t get what’s coming to them.
Strangely enough the writers seem to have a hard time tying The Village in with Saw, and this would be because THEY BELONG IN DIFFERENT GENRES. There’s something wrong having the Japanese style, maple-enclosed house from The Grudge next door to the downtown terrace backing onto the bridge from War of the Worlds. The writers spend so much time explaining why and how such disparate elements can be intertwined that there’s very little time left for humour.
Oh yes, the humour. Well first of all, the best jokes are in the trailer. Secondly, all the good horror movie cliché-related jokes have been covered in the first two films, so all that’s left is pratfalls and gross-out gags pertaining to bodily functions. The funniest sequence of the film in fact has no relevance to the movie being spoofed, or indeed the scary movie genre at all.
The film has been injected with a decent special effects script, so it only makes it all the more frustrating that the impressive CGI tripods and the scarily made up kid aren’t supported by a decent script.
Anna Faris always seems to come out on top, but in Scary Movie 4 even she is having trouble. Craig Bierko’s performance is great, and he’s unrecognisable from the hero in The Thirteenth Floor (did he have laser hair removal on his stubble?!), and there’s something strange having Bill Pullman play William Hurt, and then having Charlie Sheen play Bill Pullman. Shaquille O’Neal and Dr Phil blunder about hopelessly in the horribly unfunny opening sequence, and we’ve even seen the Oprah moment in the trailer so there’s nothing left to offer there.
Here’s hoping there isn’t another Scary Movie on the way, because there’s only so many ways you can paint a dead donkey red and call it Rudolph. The only good news is that Scary Movie 4 is better than Date Movie. Just.Rating: