Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex, Gracie Whitton, Ava Kolker, Lidia Porto, Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan
Let’s cut to the chase. Scary Movie 5 is terrible. After an absence of seven years, the Scary Movie franchise was reignited to continue in its quest for the lowest common denominator, and surely this time it has found rock bottom.
With many of the more iconic horror films already having been exhausted, this instalment of series is built primarily around parodies of Paranormal Activity, Mama and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan – an excellent film deserving of a higher class of parody – with nods to Inception, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Fifty Shades of Grey. Through the work of Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles) and the Zucker Brothers (Flying High, Top Secret and The Naked Gun) we know that when done well, genre parody can be very clever and very funny. However where some of the previously mentioned films were incredibly clever and dense, even when revelling in lowbrow humour, Scary Movie 5 is lazy and unimaginative, not realising that even toilet humour needs to be done well in order to get a laugh.
The key creative players in previous instalments, namely the Wayans brothers and actress Anna Farris have all moved on. Even Carmen Electra didn’t come back to be a part of this film. Seriously, if that is not a sign to move on then I don’t know what is. Taking over as the lead we have High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale. While it is common practice for young Disney starlets to seek out roles which will help them shed their innocent child-star persona and transition into a more mature career, Tisdale has certainly chosen a poor way to go about it. Scary Movie 5’s trump card, which says a lot about what is in store, is an opening cameo from Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan, two actors who didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in 2012, playing themselves preparing to make a sex tape together.
A comedy without laughs and a horror movie without scares, if Scary Movie 5 has one redeeming feature it is that it is mercifully short. That the brief 82min run-time includes over 15mins of credits and bloopers tells you just of how short on material the filmmakers were. A simply horrendous movie.
Rating – ☆
Review by Duncan McLean