Rated R for strong sexual and gross humor, graphic language and some drug content. Last year, Scary Movie tackled the slasher genre, poking fun of the Scream-type movies that have been getting worse in the last few years. This year, Scary Movie 2 tackles the spookier side of horror, putting the actors in a haunted house.
Of course, everyone remembers that Scary Movie, though made on a very small budget, was one of the biggest hits of the summer, even if it wasn't as much a horror spoof as a sexual gross-fest. Scary Movie 2 is much the same, spoofing horror movies but still relying at last half the time on crude and shocking sex jokes. The question is, Will audiences go for it the second time?
I liked the original Scary Movie because it made me laugh hard. I didn't care too much whether it was making fun of horror movies or not; I just wanted to laugh. However, in Scary Movie 2 I was hoping that the Wayans Brothers (Keenen Ivory directs, and Shawn and Marlon costar) would have listened to some of the complaints. Instead, they did what most sequels do and shove more of the same into 80 minutes. I did laugh. Scary Movie 2 is a funny movie, but the sex jokes got tiresome. I would have found it funnier if it had focused more on making fun of other movies (not counting Charlie's Angels and other non-horror movies) instead of showing a clown get choked by a penis, Anna Faris getting plastered to a wall by semen, and stuff like that.
So, the sex jokes are still rampant in the sequel and they are not as funny as the first time around. They get old. The movie gets old. But it's still worth it.
Scary Movie 2, if anything, is worth seeing for the first ten minutes of the movie. Here, Keenan Ivory Wayans pulls off the perfect spoof of The Exorcist, using James Wood as the priest and Natasha Lyonne as the possessed girl. This is one of the funniest openings I've seen to a film, and it is even better than the starting sequence in the original film.
Of course, the movie only goes downhill from there. After seeing that first scene, my hopes were up; I was thinking that the whole movie was going to be like that. Unfortunately, things aren't quite as funny for the rest of the film. I still laughed and I still found the movie entertaining, but there is something missing, especially in the last half hour. It's as if the writers (and there are a lot of writers, including the Wayans brothers) ran out of really good jokes, even though there is a multitude of horror movies to spoof. The last half hour is rushed and uninteresting.
As far as acting goes, I ask the question: Does no one think that you still have to act when doing a spoof? Marlon Wayans acts even dumber than he did in the first one, and the ultimate insult is the star, Anna Faris, who I can't tell whether she doesn't try at all, or she is trying to do her best and simply can't ask. It's just excruciating to watch. However, I must note that Chris Elliott is extremely great as the man with the shriveled hand.
Scary Movie 2 is a sequel, and like most sequels is inferior to its predecessor. It should be congratulated on leaving the slasher genre and moving to ghost stories, but the sex jokes have gotten all but completely tired. Scary Movie 2 still has plenty of laughs to satisfy anyone, but it seems like there is just something missing.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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