Length: 86 minutes
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee
Stars: 3 out of 5
“Scary Movie 5” is the current installment of what began as an entertaining parody of scary movies and has now become a somewhat less than brilliant, but still entertaining franchise . The latest “Scary Movie” starts strong with a hilarious scene in which Charlie Sheen-playing himself-talks Lindsay Lohan-playing herself-into making a sex tape. Supernatural activity ensues, terrorizing Sheen and Lohan, and leading to Sheen’s disappearance and reported death. The police arrest Lohan out of habit, and Sheen’s three children go missing.
The three youngsters are eventually found in a remote and creepy cabin in the woods by Snoop Dogg, also playing himself, who appears as a gun-toting, weed-smoking jokester. The kids have become wild from their time seemingly alone in the woods, though references to a mysterious caretaker named Mama are made that make viewers wonder if someone is actually caring for the kids. Sheen’s fictional brother steps up to claim the children, much to the chagrin of his punk-rocker wife (a blonde-again Ashley Tisdale). The couple are given the kids on the condition they move into a house filled with cameras, supposedly to ensure the children’s safety, yet no one seems to be monitoring the footage because Tisdale’s character Jody injures them repeatedly as soon as they move in.
Two of the three kids miraculously return to normal shortly after moving to the suburbs while the eldest child, for no apparent reason, remains completely crazy. The three children seem to have brought Mama with them as strange occurrences start happening in the house, none of which anyone seems to notice despite the many cameras. The plot mainly centers on the discovery of the entity and how to vanquish it.
“Scary Movie 5” heavily parodies “Black Swan” and “Paranormal Activity” with nods to movies “Inception,” “Evil Dead,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Mama,” and the book Fifty Shades of Grey. This not-so-scary movie has some boring parts but contains memorable moments, including one of the funniest lesbian sex scenes ever filmed. It is possibly the funniest sex scene ever made, including the geyser-like ejaculation scene from the first “Scary Movie.”
The film features a wide range of pop culture references, which are sure to make viewers chuckle-at least sometimes. The movie does rely on references to evoke humor, as if simply copying or talking about a movie or newsworthy event is automatically funny. Jody’s husband (Simon Rex), who is Sheen’s movie brother, is basically a walking physical-comedy joke with no other purpose than to connect Jody with the children, and occasionally he runs into stuff. Jody’s character, however, goes through an entertaining transformation, starting as a black-wig-wearing punk musician who wants nothing to do with kids to a ballet-dancing, mother-bear type willing to risk her life fighting a supernatural entity to save her adopted cubs. Amid the jokes, hilarious triumphs, and epic failures are heart-warming moments of maternal behavior from the movie’s heroine. The overly religious housekeeper and an intelligence-enhanced ape provide some much appreciated comedic backup to Tisdale’s funny moments.
Fans of Malcolm D. Lee’s hit films “Undercover Brother” and “The Best Man” are likely to enjoy the humor in “Scary Movie 5.” People who have stayed with the series since the first “Scary Movie” are also likely to enjoy this fifth film. What this movie really needed though was a more cohesive plot. The first “Scary Movie” parodied many films but still stuck with a plot that was easy to follow. The fifth film tries to parody “Black Swan” and “Mama” in a “Paranormal Activity” setting, especially as far as Jody and the kids are concerned. The only time the movie diverges from trying to combine these plot lines is when it follows Dan (Simon Rex) to work, so it can watch him attempting to make apes smarter with a special serum. Unfortunately, Dan is too dumb to notice that his principal primate is already more intelligent than him. His hairy sidekick only seems to be in the film to get hit with stuff when Dan isn’t on camera to be the punching bag. If the ape had helped the plot by revealing an important clue about Mama his presence and the entire ape researcher subplot would have been worth the screen time. As it is, there are still some rather funny moments involving feces and what apes are known to do with it.
Overall, “Scary Movie 5” (watch trailer here) is like a rollercoaster comedy ride with a few breakdowns along the way during which the audience sits unmoved waiting for the next joke; but when the jokes come, they nearly throw you from your seat as you explode with laughter, not unlike when Bobby explodes on his girlfriend in the first film.