Scary Movie 5
Lazy, limp and humourless addition to the series
Blame Airplane! It was a fast, funny and inventive piss take of disaster movies. Unfortunately everyone who has tried to rip off the formula in the modern era shoots so low. Admittedly the first Scary Movie (2000) had a few ‘I can’t believe they did that’ gags but it spawned a seemingly endless procession of infinitely inferior imitators.
The main problem with modern spoof movies is they hardly make any logical sense, seemingly content to jump from one random parody to the next as the jokes, rather than the story, dictate. At least Scary Movie 5 is vaguely coherent. Opening with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan sending up themselves (even these tabloid favourites feel like they are slumming it) we soon cut to the main narrative, a riff on Mama and Paranormal Activity, as Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex take in two feral kids and move into an apparently haunted house. We soon detour into lampoons of Black Swan, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inception, Evil Dead and more.
Tisdale tries her best with the material but she hasn’t got the charisma or timing of Anna Faris (the anchor of the series' previous four instalments). However the main problem is the script, which labours every joke until any scrap of humour is lost. It’s crude, gross and probably wishes it was offensive but comes across as just lazy, limp and unfunny. It’s better than Epic Movie, Date Movie or the woeful Meet the Spartans but that really is damning it with faint praise. What’s most disappointing is that it was actually co-written by David Zucker, the very man who wrote the classic Airplane!, the film that started the whole craze for goofy genre parodies in the first place.
General release from Fri 12 Apr.