Scary Movie 5 review

Review Caroline Preece 12 Apr 2013 - 17:23

Charlie Sheen stars in the latest Scary Movie movie. But does Scary Movie 5 register the laughs? Er...

No one expects a Scary Movie sequel to be great – it doesn’t even need to be good. But a passing awareness of what their audience (gangs of pre-teens who come for the crude and sexual humour) are after has led the franchise to unprecedented box office success and a longevity that it really doesn’t deserve. This fifth instalment, which took a whole seven years to get made, proves this more than any of its predecessors, focusing on everything that’s wrong with the series and binning the few saving graces it had going for it in the first place.

First of all, Anna Faris has moved on to bigger and less embarrassing things, and has since been replaced by High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale. There’s a reason that Tisdale hasn’t been used for most of the promotional material, with trailers focusing almost exclusively on the movie’s first ten Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen-containing minutes. To be fair, the most enjoyment you’ll get here is from their brief exchange, if you find wayward substance-addicted celebrities embarrassing themselves appealing. Of course, reading praise of those jokes you’ve already seen in ads and trailers, you’ll know that the rest of it’s pretty bad.

They at least show a willingness to take the piss out of themselves, taking off their various court-ordered tracking devices before getting down to business. For everyone else, this is just sad – with particular regret going to Usher and Snoop Dogg/Lion who, the last time I checked, still have healthy careers and millions in the bank. But what films are getting the spoof treatment this time? It’s a mixture of relevant and irrelevant, including recent movies like Evil Dead (remake) and Mama, and others such as Black Swan and Paranormal Activity.

The reaction in my screening to the Evil Dead sequence (featuring current teen stars that can all do much better) was a strange one since, as the film hasn’t actually been released in UK cinemas yet, all we had to go on was the trailer, which had at least been shown before the film. But in general, the humour in Scary Movie 5 is so generic, repetitive and tiresome that you don’t even have to have seen the butt of the jokes to understand. No matter what film the hook of the gag came from, it’ll inevitably end with someone getting hit by a frying pan or someone’s flatulence propelling them across a room.

Shockingly, there are actually a few laughs you don’t feel ashamed of afterwards, but it’s more out of a sense of resignation than any real wit from the writers. Whether it’s Black Swan’s pretentious editing or the Morgan Freeman impersonator narrating the action, there are glimpses of hope where we at least get the sense that someone actually saw the films being lampooned. Otherwise, most of the jokes straddle the line between politically incorrect and downright offensive, with rogue frying pans filling the gaps between plot-related shenanigans.

People will wonder how things could be worse, but a trailer for similarly structured A Haunted House (from former Scary Movie screenwriter Marlon Wayans) will answer that query for you in two and a half minutes. The truth is that it can always get worse, and the Easter holiday crowd in the cinema with me seemed happy enough with what they were being served. These films know their audience, and know that they don’t need to try any harder to get their bums in cinema seats, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a Scary Movie 6 was announced in the near future.

Call it the decline of our culture, or the end of cinema as we know it – whatever you want – just make sure you don’t watch it. It offers absolutely nothing new to a franchise that should never have gotten a part two (remember that ironic ‘no sequels’ tag on the first movie’s poster?), and you’d be much better off just getting your friends together to watch the superior movies it’s attempting to poke fun at. I guarantee that you and your mates can come up with something more inspired that this shambles.

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Disqus - noscript

On behalf of the USA, I apologize for us in regards to releasing this to the world.

Just watched it here in the UK on it's release today and I can't believe I actually spent close to £25 for the "privilege" ... £14 for the tickets and £10 for two bags of sweets (candy) and a drink ... personally, I think this movie should come with a health warning explaining the following side effects will most likely ensue .. bouts of regret, feelings of despair, false hope that Charlie Sheen may feature more than 5 minutes of the movie, and utter utter disbelief that the producers of such a great first few movies could possibly contemplate releasing such a huge pile of shite that is Scary Movie 5 - listen people, honestly, do yourselves a favour and take your loved one to a funeral or something, you'll have more of a laugh there than you could possibly ever have at this movie, serious !

To be fair, we sent you Piers Morgan.

And no refunds.

...and sincere apologies from Canada for Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Nickelback, and so on... But we also gave you Bill Shatner, so there's that.

I'll say it before anyone else does... In no way (in my opinion) were the previous movies in the series "great". The original had a certain level of quality, but the sequels have all been terrible!

I fell into deep depression when I read that it was written by Pat Proft and David Zucker....yet again. (Oppose to actually directing the bloody film.)

Hopefully this will be the final nail in the coffin for the spoof genre. Give us thoughtful, intellectual comedies, not scenes from better movies with fart and dick jokes added!

Slightly disagree. Anna Farris was funny. The yahtzee headache joke made me cry with laughter too . . . . Am I mixing up films?

On behalf of cuba, I apologize for Andy Garcia not being in enough movies. And if you don't like him, then I apologize for him being in too many movies. And on behalf of Cubans in America, I apologize for Andy Richter.

honestly i would have respected you more if your review was...

NO - its bad

you can have shatner back

hey lychtenstein!!! there can only be one stein!

Everyone's a critic :-)

Heeeeeeere we aaaare! Born to be kings, we're the princes of the uuuniveeeeerse!!!

I am immooortal! I have inside me blood of kings! (Yeah!) I have no rival! No one can be my eQUAL!


I must admit to laughing out loud for at least 10 seconds throughout every 'Scary Movie' I've seen. Sorry, y'all have my permission to have my legs broken!

Don't worry bout it bud. I'm from the soon to be post apocalyptic UK...hav u seen 'Fat Slags'? Please don't ever see it...I mean EVER!!!

Best reply I've read in a long time!

Lol, granted, maybe "great" was an over-reaction, I'm sure we could settle with "decent" :)

Do the nurses know you are using a computer?

So many frying pans, so few laughs.

just came back from cinema,no laugh no fun,rubbish,

5 scary movie films and 1 Dredd.

I despair sometimes I really do!

Or for that matter Lesbian Vampire Killers.. We're sorry!

Apologise for your bad musicians, but don't mention giving the world Rush?

In a world of international cinema where a truly brilliant movie like DREDD cant get a sequel based on poor box office returns but we are subjected to another asinine outing of cretinous humour from the Wayans Bros that will no doubt do excellent, i weep for the future.

It's the Canadian way. Sorry about that. :-)

I still think the third was the funniest one, but after surviving the terrible fourth film and not even having Faris this time round, it was time to call it a day for me with the franchise. Glad I dodged this bullet.

Loved the first 4, but this one was just a series of pointless non funny gags randomly scattered around that didn't even manage to make me stretch to a slight grin, got so bored and sleepy I left three quarters the way through. Let's hope that was the last one because if this was their best after 7 years then it dosn't hold much hope for number 6.

Nickleback is amazing your opinion is irrelevant

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