Let’s check the expiration date.


Scary Movie was one of the first (or the first) of the long running series of terrible spoof films that try to take popular cinema to task. To say that this genre has a mixed bag is a severe understatement. Most of them are painfully lazy cash grabs with storylines written by eight-year-old boys.

The shelf life on raunchy humor is only slightly better than roadkill, so we have another layer of difficulty here. I imagine a lot of folks would be annoyed with the scatologic and immature humor presented here, but for me it was an odd trip of nostalgia. Sometimes it was fun, sometimes it was painful, but it was at least always interesting.

We follow Cindy (Anna Farris) who is put into the plots of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer and is forced to figure out who the killer is while being surrounded by complete idiots. I’m not sure if it is funny or sad that this film actually works as a slasher film by itself. The genre has become so self-parodied that something attempting to make fun of it still produces a similar effect. The fact that this movie is designed to be stupid makes the stupid parts more palatable.

Comedies are weird to review. I was amused by most of the humor, but I’m not sure how wide reaching this film would be. I think this has to be treated like a late 1990s time capsule. You’ll see a lot of references that you forgot and be reminded of the type of humor we all had when we were teenagers. The horror and shame you will feel through remembrance is quite real, so do be warned.

Spoof films often have a paper thing plot, and this one is no exception, we leap from film-to-trend so quickly that I am sure a serious analysis would find how little makes sense. Sometimes the jokes overstay their welcome, but mostly it maintains a pace that doesn’t make it a punishment to watch, which makes it better that 90% of spoof films anyway.

This isn’t a good movie by any stretch. As noted, I think only people who are old enough to remember what is being spoofed will get much out of it. However, this one was done with at least a little love (and not cheap desperation) unlike most spoof films. It is a serviceable, albeit stupid, comedy film that still manages to cross the line of so-called decent behavior.

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