A character in the fifth installment of the “Scary Movie” franchise utters the line, “Wow, there are so many pans.” He doesn’t know the half of it, since almost every critic worth his or her salt has seemingly panned this film with wild abandon. Plotless, pointless and with little redeeming value, Scary Movie 5 will hopefully put a final nail in the coffin of this series which began in 2000 with such comedic promise.
Well-worn and successively awful sequels, however, doomed the enterprise until we’ve ended up with this dismal, disjointed, disappointing and — surprisingly — dull fifth edition. It follows in line with the “fire a shotgun at a target, and trust a few pellets will hit true enough” methodology that’s worked before with “Airplane!,” and “The Naked Gun,” but failed with others such as “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie.”
The difference here is there are 20 shotguns fired by screenwriting veterans David Zucker and Pat Proft and only one or two pellets hit ANYTHING at all. The series of vignettes that purport to parody any number of recent horror movies instead veers off course to the point where non-horror pictures such as “Inception,” “Black Swan” and “127 Hours” are thrown into the mix and fast-motion camera work substitutes for any real cleverness (although it does work in the very beginning with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan to the tune of “The Benny Hill Show” theme).
Since there’s no real plot, it does no good to go into much expository explanation, but Scary Movie 5 borrows from the likes of “Paranormal Activity,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” “Mama,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Ring,” “The Grudge” and “Evil Dead” — all of which are infinitely more hilarious than this spoof. Gore, soft-core sexual scenes and foul language throughout also add up to a miserable time at the cinema, pushing the PG-13 rating to the limit. Then, to titillate the 12-year old boys in the audience and as a bone to the lowest common denominator, there’s the obligatory bathroom humor.
Directed by Malcolm Lee (“Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” — although Malcolm X could have done a much better job) and starring a host of “C” list celebrities, including Ashley Tisdale, Snoop Dogg, Katt Williams, Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, Simon Rex, Jerry O’Connell, Sarah Hyland, Katrina Bowden, Darrell Hammond, Tyler Posey, Heather Locklear, Kate Walsh
and Mike Tyson (who punches a guy out, how novel), I defy the viewer — unless one is severely brain-damaged or is under 10 years of age — to get five good laughs out of this production.
Of course, those who giggle at overweight Latina housekeepers sleeping with vacuum cleaners, enjoy watching pool-cleaning devices having sex (yep), like to see little kids get knocked around and abused, think Katt Williams is funny, as well as those who think Ashley Tisdale can actually act (I’ve never missed Anna Farris more in my life), will no doubt love Scary Movie 5. Everyone else in the free world will hope and pray that this genre will have finally run its course.