Back in July 2000, Dimension Films released the first film in what eventually became a successful horror parody movie franchise. Scary Movie mainly spoofs two horror movies that were popular at the time.
The first is Scream, which, from what I can tell, is already sort of a satire/deconstruction of these kinds of teen horror films, which seems like a bit of strange choice for something to parody. I’ve never seen any of the Scream films if you couldn’t tell.
The other film that Scary Movie mainly spoofs is 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer. I haven’t seen this one either. But thankfully, I’ve done some research on both of these movies.
So Scary Movie starts off with a scene that directly parodies the opening of Scream. It’s a decent scene that does a good job taking pretty much everything that happens in the first scene of the original movie and making it more ridiculous.
But the problem here is that not the entire movie keeps up with that level of quality. Nor does it really get all that much better than that.
So the plot of the movie is basically the plot of Scream combined with the plot of I Know What You Did Last Summer. There’s a serial killer (who looks just like the killer from Scream) on the loose in a small town. And a group of irresponsible teenagers start to fear that it may have something to do with them accidentally killing a guy with their car and getting rid of the body a year ago.
The story in this movie basically exists just to make a lot of jokes. And like with the opening scene, a lot of the movie involves directing taking stuff from of the two films they’re spoofing and either subverting it or making it more ridiculous.
For instance, early in the movie, we get a flashback to when they accidentally hit the guy with their car while drinking and driving. But the joke here is that he’s actually completely fine at first. But they’re so freaked out that one of them throws a beer bottle that hits him in the head and that’s what actually kills him. That’s a pretty good parody joke.
But the humor in the movie can be very hit-and-miss. One example of this is one of the main characters in the movie, a guy named Ray (Shawn Wayans). His whole joke is that he’s a closeted gay guy. I suppose this is meant to mock the gay character trope in horror movies.
The thing is that the joke is kind of funny the first one or two times. But it gets old really quickly. And that’s basically his entire character too.
Another character I wasn’t crazy about was a character named Doofy, an offensive character who exists mostly to mock people with autism. You see, his character is autistic and it’s all just played for laughs.
There are definitely a number of bad jokes in the movie including some gross-out jokes and references to other movies that are just random. These include references to The Blair Witch Project, The Sixth Sense and strangely enough The Matrix. I don’t think that last one is a horror movie.
And this isn’t to say that the movie doesn’t have a decent amount of clever humor. But at the end of the day, the majority of the movie just didn’t get that many laughs. One problem is that although a lot of the satire has the potential to be clever, several of the jokes are just a little too on the nose.
In fact, that’s kind of the movie in a nutshell. There’s some potential for a decent movie. But it just didn’t live up to that potential.