Scary Movie V

2013 - 86 minutes

Rated: PG-13

Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee

Written by: David Zucker, Pat Proft

Starring: Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan

After the predictably excruciating 75 minutes of Scary Movie V, a credit pops up that only rubs salt in the wound: Produced by David Zucker. And written by him as well. Yes, Zucker actually directed the third and fourth installments in the Scary Movie franchise and those were stupid, but at least they had a somewhat coherent silliness.

Scary Movie V is such a jumbled mess it feels more like a creation of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (the comedic dynamo behind the supreme idiocy of Epic Movie and Disaster Movie), rather than a man who had a hand in comedy classics Airplane! and The Naked Gun.

The film opens with a scene of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen playing versions of themselves. It covers such fresh material as Charlie Sheen’s womanizing and partying ways and Lohan’s legal troubles. Pretty groundbreaking stuff. 

This preamble clumsily leads into the central plotline (if you can call it that) taken from Mama – which just came out a few months ago. There’s even a 10 minute section covering Evil Dead - released one week prior - that is a painful stretch where they literally repeat the same joke 4 or 5 times in a row. I guess movies are ripe for parody these days just based on their trailers…or, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn, Scary Movie V was actually made in the last week. That’s about the level of quality on display.

Dovetailing together as smoothly as a cheese grater on another cheese grater are episodes parodying Paranormal Activity (which has become a parody of itself almost within its own franchise), Inception, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Black Swan. I must admit I cracked a smile for about 5 seconds when the film evoked Darren Aronofsky’s editing style and habit of walking with the camera behind his protagonist.

But 5 seconds of cleverness aren’t near enough to redeem this toxic mix of terribleness. A baby’s head starts on fire, a toddler is punched in the face repeatedly, another baby is birthed during a ballet performance and Simon Rex’s character is bashed over the head and falls down several times. The next great physical comedian he is not. And, by the way, Rex was also in Scary Movies 3 and 4, but from what I can tell played a different character. Not that it matters, I suppose.

None of it matters. The scariest thing about Scary Movie V is that multiple people thought it would be a good idea.

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