Review by Paul Stathakis | 2006

Scarily bad

Early on in “Scary Movie 4”, Shaquille O’Neal and Dr. Phil parody the horror film “Saw” and the scene is not funny when it could’ve been amusing.  Instead, the opening minutes warn viewers of the silliness that lies ahead. This useless installment, like its predecessors, is a shabby comedy which relies on a collage of spoofs to tell a funny story.  The idea has never been more tiresome and dull.

I’ll admit that I enjoyed the first “Scary Movie” because, like all comedies that work, it was the first part and it was something original.  The epic part 4 puts the whole idea of mocking horror movies into overdrive and somewhere along the way it forgets that it’s suppose to strictly target horror movies.  Hence, the reason why there is a pointless “Million Dollar Baby” spoof.  Yes, this is a film that will win the attention of those who have not seen enough satirical comedies or for those who simply cannot get enough of movie spoofs.

Needless to say, there is not much of a story to follow and if you make the mistake of actually trying to understand the story then you’ve missed the point.  This is a senseless comedy and if any of it makes sense the writers should wonder how they ever wrote something coherent.  I say this bitterly because as viewers we deserve original comedies with witty humor.  I dismissed “Date Movie”, which was written by two of the writers responsible for the “Scary Movie” films and now I am dismissing this comedy again.

Why am I ranting?  Why I am being so harsh towards a little innocent film that aims to make people giggle?  The answer, dear readers, is simple.  We go to the movies to be entertained.  We go to the movies to experience other worlds, to see other locations, to witness different eras, genres, and performances.  The good comedies will always make us laugh.  The best of them will always playback in our heads somewhere and in conversations will often surface and, yes, makes us laugh again.  The bad comedies, and “Scary Movie 4” is a great example, will be forgotten before the end credits are complete.

What’s spoofed?  What’s funny?  What’s not?  Tom Cruise is mocked, Oprah is imitated, Dr. Phil throws a tantrum at people with issues and he even mentions obesity, there is a ton of “Saw” jokes, but in the middle of a “War of the Worlds” bit there is a mystery cameo appearance which works like a charm and made me smile.  That’s one scene, one actor, and one smile.  For a movie of this sort, that’s a surprise and a half.

The creators of the franchise have stated that “Scary Movie 4” will be their final installment.  Some are saddened by this news while others are sighing in relief.  There may be a lot of immature jokes which poke fun at horror films here but the game is over and I see a dead franchise and a scarily bad, useless, distasteful, silly, repugnant, senseless, and mainly unfunny movie.


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