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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 25.71%
Pretty Bad: 30%
Total Crap: 7.14%

7 reviews, 28 user ratings

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Scary Movie 4
[] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"Joking Under Pressure"
3 stars

Let’s face it: by this point, the 'Scary Movie' series is as much about horror movies just as much as 'Date Movie' was about laughs. Regardless, there lingers a modest appeal amongst audiences to take in such mile-a-minute mockery themselves, hoping to assess the frequency and accuracy with an adjusted set of standards, a grading curve that tolerates a weaker ratio of guffaws to groans. However, in addition to providing a plethora of parodies, 'Scary Movie 4' apparently aspires to be something more, because if you’ve been eagerly waiting to see Cloris Leachman bathed in her own urine AND Carmen Electra taking an extravagant dump in the very same hour, congratulations. Your life is now this much closer to complete.

This round primarily intertwines the narratives of The Grudge, Saw, and War of the Worlds, wedging in detours to The Village, Brokeback Mountain, and Million Dollar Baby along the way. (The perceptive/picky will notice the absence of King Kong, despite the hulking primate residing on the poster. Did Date Movie really rob them of that? We may never know.) The “plot” revolves around our heroine, Cindy (Anna Faris), as she investigates the haunted house in which she is a caretaker. Living right next door is single father Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko), who finds himself juggling his children and a pending alien invasion. Mahalik (Anthony Anderson) and CJ (Kevin Hart) reappear as pals of Tom’s, while Brenda (Regina Hall) conveniently reunites with Cindy, despite having died in SM3. Oh, and they’re trying to save the world from the aliens, I think. Whatever.

The story solely exists to fulfill the basic criteria of creating a breeding ground for jokes and gags galore, and director David Zucker (Airplane!, The Naked Gun, SM3) does his best to work around it. In his world, the Jigsaw killer tortures with groin-kicking and nipple-twisting (no pie-throwing?), and the Japanese kid speaks in brand names (for example, subtitled dialogue consists of “Mistubishi sushi Tamagotchi!” and the like). Despite sporadic scatological scenes, the majority of the humor works, thanks first and foremost to the cast. Faris only reinforces her growing reputation as quite possibly the finest comedic actress of this generation, always game for even the most demanding and demeaning gags with her impeccable comic timing and invaluable mugging. Hall’s character is less sassy and more slutty, which is pretty much the extent of her character. Bierko makes an adequate Tom Cruise imitator, and seeing his silly side after playing the heavy in Cinderella Man makes his performance damn near impressive.

The majority of the predecessor’s characters are given a mention at the very least, while a few (Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, Chris Elliot) actually get a scene or two with which to make a last impression, if not a lasting one. Anderson and Hart are given more attention than they seem to deserve, yet Leslie Nielsen manages to milk the most out of his return as the ever incompetent President, who finds his greatest interests and concerns lay not with his fearful citizens, but with the outcome of the duck in the story he was being read as the invasion commenced. Even for being a clear stab at Bush’s behavior on 9/11, the joke doesn’t particularly pierce his current image, nor is it followed through to any satisfying end. Still, Nielsen has most certainly earned his screen time in the past and is most certainly game at the moment, more than others can say.

As for the special guests this time around, it sure is fun to see Dr. Phil let loose at the outset (those keen on the franchise may recall that the good doctor is actually George’s uncle), even if Shaq only makes for a passable foil. James Earl Jones makes for a fine substitute narrator, considering that Morgan Freeman must have had a busy schedule or something; the opposite can be deduced of Carmen Electra, whose recent trend of cameos continues to little effect here, besides the above-mentioned defecation sequence (probably the film’s single most unfunny gag, I shit you not). Bill Pullman also appears, yet not as his own Grudge character, a circumstance that may have made for more impressive humor, both in that portion and in his appearance. Quite possibly the briefest and strangest cameo is by the otherwise stern Michael Madsen, taking over as the basement screwball when the alien invasion is underway. A few more familiar faces litter the screen, for better or for worse, some willing to shave off a few dignity points for a quick buck, while others make a genuine effort to make the most of their moment.

The original remains a surprisingly solid spoof, and although its few thuds resound to this day, the third entry still works like gangbusters. Several gags in this effort tend to straddle the line between “Oh, God, why?” and “Eh, why not?,” and although the seams are concealed better courtesy of a stronger combined narrative and surprisingly serviceable special effects, the stretch marks are showing even more than before. Considering how much 'SM2' royally blew, one might as well stick it out for numero cinco. After all, the odder the sequel, the better.

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originally posted: 04/30/06 15:23:41
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User Comments

3/18/16 Charles Tatum Meh. 3 stars
4/20/13 How did this shit get made? Seriously. 1 stars
9/06/08 Connie Lingus This movie really smelled alot 1 stars
3/25/08 Isaac M. Baranoff Please stop making these movies. 2 stars
8/11/07 fools♫gold Quite clever and funny (and even underrated) compared to the previous 3. 4 stars
2/28/07 Beau Could have been a lot better! could have exaggerated spoofs more. Im a fan of anna faris 3 stars
2/18/07 David Pollastrini so bad it's scary 2 stars
10/31/06 Jacko wacko shit storyline,but good 4 stars
10/24/06 Phil S.M. 1 = good, 2 = crap, 3 = O.K., 4 = rubbish, rubbish, rubbish! 1 stars
10/06/06 Kara Typical Scary movie theme, great 1 liners 2 stars
8/28/06 action movie fan continuation of horror movie spoof==znay and loud.spoof micheal jackson too 3 stars
8/18/06 Mike I think I'm giving up on the Scary Movies unless the Wayans Bros. come back. 2 stars
7/04/06 Cheryl Mayfield Seein Dr. Phil cut his foot off & hearin Carmen Electra take a monstr dump make it worth it 4 stars
5/29/06 saiid not bad 2 stars
5/17/06 Sheen Krist It was better then Scary Movie 3 but still wasn't all that great. 3 stars
5/10/06 y2mckay The same old shit - funny in spurts, but completely disposable humor. 3 stars
5/09/06 Tranquil Worst of the series. No laughs to be found. Good recreation of spoofed movies visually. 2 stars
5/04/06 Littlepurch Was expecting it to be crap but was pleasantly surprised. Regina Hall was best, as usual. 4 stars
4/30/06 jonathan_223 Worse than even the second installment. 2 stars
4/27/06 Mase Regina Hall is the secret weapon of the series, she may be worth the price of admittance. 3 stars
4/21/06 Becky Bierko is the "oh I know that guy from where?" but he's great! Pretty damn funny flick 4 stars
4/18/06 sean Hey, Mel, be fair, it wasn't Damon Wayans, it was Keenan Ivory 2 stars
4/18/06 KingNeutron Some LOL moments, but it fell short of my expectations. Nothing in teh credits 2 wait 4. 3 stars
4/16/06 Ole Man Bourbon Some funny jokes. Funny scene with Charlie Sheen and a bottle of vodka. 4 stars
4/15/06 Eevil Wolfie It's ok i guess. Could have been better.. 3 stars
4/15/06 Duffyboy666 Packed with jokes. Some funny, some stupid but it makes you laugh and thats the main thing! 1 stars
4/13/06 Sean Crap 1 stars
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  14-Apr-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 15-Aug-2006



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  David Zucker

Written by
  Craig Mazin
  Pat Proft

  Anna Faris
  Regina Hall
  Craig Bierko
  Leslie Nielsen
  Carmen Electra
  Shaquille O'Neal

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