Halloween Highway: Scary Movie

Hands up if you didn’t expect me to review this one. Well, to be honest, this movie was offered for free by my digital tv provider. It’s as good an excuse as any, really.

Anyway, it gave me a chance to see a recent Wayans brothers movie. I knew them from long ago (when they made In Living Color, which was responsible for the success of the Wayans family as well as a certain James Carrey). I also know their recent reputation (makers of unfunny comedies) and watched The Daily Show episode with one Wayans family member. A clip from their most recent movie Little Man was shown and – literally – three people in the audience had to laugh. Not the best of signs.

Scary Movie is better than Little Man, though do not force me to watch Scary Movie 3. The first two scenes (incl. a parody of Scream – which used “Scary Movie” as a working title) I found genuinely funny. In fact, don’t believe the people who maintain In Living Color was highbrow. It wasn’t.
After a good start the movie continues with unfunny material. In the end I decided to keep a chart, carefully noting the scenes and jokes I loved vs. those I hated. The result? 21scenes and jokes made me laugh (or chuckle), 54 I truly hated. (That would’ve been 52, but the end credits feature two jokes, one even worse than the other.) Nevertheless, 21 good scenes or jokes isn’t that bad: it means that statistically Scary Movie is seven times as funny as Be Kind, Rewind (the horror, the horror).

Among the scenes I really didn’t like were the overused joke that one character may be gay and all the scenes with Marlon Wayans as a pot smoker. You’d almost be excused for thinking Marlon is a crappy actor (he’s also the unfunniest person in the joke-free Little Man) but don’t forget he was also in Requiem for a Dream. So, it isn’t that he isn’t a good actor, it’s just that he has a horrible taste for comedy.

All in all, for every excellent parody Scary Movie tends to serve you (i.e. Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer) you also get an unfunny parody (The Blair Witch Project‘s parody is by far the worst) and own material which should’ve stayed on the drawing board. There’s also much too much emphasis on the meta-joke (“It’s as if we were in a movie.” – “We are, there is the director and the scriptgirl.”) even though this sometimes works (“You can’t do this to me!” – “Why not? Did you think I Know What You Did Last Summer made any sense?”).

The math genius in me decided that 21 in favour versus 54 against with a lot of undecided moments equals 28%. If we’re lenient, we’ll make that 3/10. But don’t expect me to find screenshots or posters for this post.


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