Susan Granger’s review of “Scary Movie V” (Dimension Films/Weinstein Co.)
How bad is this fifth installment of the horror movie parody franchise? Worse than you’d expect, descending straight downhill after the opening sex sequence in which notorious Charlie Sheen and haggard-looking Lindsay Lohan spoof their ‘naughty’ personas. Then he’s killed by a ghost and his kids are kidnapped and stashed away in a cabin in Humboldt County.
The lame plot, such as it is, focuses on a married couple -Jody (Ashley Tisdale) and Dan (Simon Rex) – who adopt his dead brother’s now-feral children, all of whom appear to be possessed by a demon Mother Spirit. As they position cameras around their home to track the ghost’s movements, Jody is determined to dance the lead in a local production of “Swan Lake” ballet, while Dan is obsessed with his experiments to make apes super-intelligent.
It’s, essentially, a series of silly sketches riffing on films like Jessica Chastain’s “Mama,” “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “127 Hours,” “Cabin in the Woods,” “Saw,” “The Ring,” “Paranormal Activity” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” among others. Making cameo appearances are Terry Crews, Snoop Dogg, Heather Locklear, Jerry O’Connell, Tyler Perry, Molly Shannon, Mike Tyson, Usher and Katt Williams.
Scripted by David Zucker (who wrote “Airplane” and “The Naked Gun” and directed “Scary Movie 3 & 4”) & Pat Proft, based on characters created by Shawn Wayans & Marlon Wayans & Buddy Johnson & Phil Beauman and Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, it’s directed by Malcom D. Lee, best known for his Blaxploitation spoof “Undercover Brother.”
A veteran of previous “Scary Movie” installments, Simon Rex exudes a boring blandness, matched by former Disney star Ashley Tisdale (“High School Musical”), who obviously lacks any sense of the comic grace and timing exhibited by Anna Faris, who was in the first four installments.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Scary Movie V” is a terrible 2, as the filmmakers border on sophomoric desperation, achieving a measurable shred of humor only in the outtakes during the closing credits.