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Scary Movie 5 is not a spoof. It’s not even a comedy. It’s a mess of very vague references to mostly outdated cultural phenomena, sprinkled in between half-hearted and half-baked “gags.”

Genre spoof is supposed to expose the conventions of that genre in a clever way.

The original Scary Movie was successful because it came on the heels of a horror film Renaissance that began with the movie Scream (which, in itself was somewhat of a spoof, but, that’s okay).

Lindsay and Bader Image

Scary Movie had a reason to exist. It had something to say.

Mainly, “Boy, there sure are a lot of horror movies copying Scream these days.”

But what is Scary Movie 5 saying? I sat through it, and I couldn’t tell you.


It doesn’t look like a horror movie. It doesn’t act like a horror movie. It plays off exactly zero horror movie conventions, and really only makes reference to the horror aesthetic a handful of times.

The film mainly follows the plotline of Guillermo Del Toro’s Mama. Hardly the cultural touchstone that Scream was. Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex play a couple who take in their nieces after they are found living for months alone in the woods.

From there, there’s a bit of supernatural furniture movement, some mild possession, and a whole lot of references to already forgotten movies like Black SwanRise of the Planet of the Apes and Inception. To the film’s very minor credit, is was able to fit in a reference to the recently-released Evil Dead remake, and to the still-uncast Fifty Shades of Grey movie.

Then there’s the utterly humiliating Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen scene that opens the film. The scene features the two celebrity train-wrecks in bed together (which just looks really gross), spitting out canned self-awareness directly to camera in a moment of “my publicist said this’d be funny” desperation.

For a movie that fails to even qualify as a spoof, you’d hope it would at least be funny. But it’s not. The jokes seem thrown together by a couple frat guys on an all-night coke binge. “Let’s have a Mexican maid dance with a vacuum, and a black exorcist who steals. Because that wouldn’t be at all racist in 21st Century.” (note to the writers: It is racist).

Watching Scary Movie 5 is like watching an awful stand-up comedian plod clumsily through a 90-minute set of fart jokes he just wrote back stage (the difference being at a comedy club you can have a drink). Also, he took a Percocet and is trying to stay awake. And so are you.

Scary Movie 5 isn’t even “bad” in that gut-wrenching “how was this made” sense. It’s not interesting enough to be that bad. It’s just flat out boring. It’s hard to get through. It’s time to retire the franchise.

Don’t see it. Listen to your friends make fun of Paranormal Activity at a bar instead. At least you’ll be drunk.