It’s Halloween. You just sent the last group of trick-or-treaters away with bags full of candy. Now, you’re all alone in your home. In horror movies, this is the moment when everything goes up in flames. In “Scream,” it’s a masked killer coming at the victim with a knife; in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” it’s Freddy Krueger who terrorizes the heroes; in “Scary Movie,” it’s the main character’s dad who hits our protagonist while drunk driving.
From the very first scene, “Scary Movie” distinguished itself by presenting that it is not actually a scary movie, but a parody show that draws inspiration from classic horror movies such as “Scream,” “Friday the 13th,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” with a satirical twist. As a horror movie enthusiast, I would recommend this comedic movie as a breath of fresh air to the often fast-paced films that make up the horror genre.
The purpose of the movie is to make the audience laugh, so the script is fairly basic. The film opens with high school student Drew Becker (played by Carmen Electra) making popcorn when the phone rings. A mysterious voice asks about her favorite scary movie, to which she jokingly responds, “Kazaam!” This playful banter takes a terrifying turn when she finds herself chased by a masked figure through sprinklers in her underwear.
The following day, Drew’s murder becomes headline news at the local high school, with relentless reporter Gail Hailstorm (portrayed by Cheri Oteri) in pursuit of the story. Meanwhile, Cindy (played by Anna Faris), an innocent and caring student, begins to suspect a connection between the recent murder and a tragic event from the previous Halloween, when she and her friends unintentionally caused a man’s death. It is soon evident that the relentless killer is targeting Cindy, despite skepticism from her friends and boyfriend. In the end, even the efforts of Deputy Dufy (played by Dave Sheridan) are not enough to save the day.
What makes “Scary Movie” unique is that the plot is used as a tool to string together skits that are funny in the moment. This is not your typical comedic movie. It contains a lot of jokes that are blatantly disrespectful. The director challenges perceptions of political correctness through the movie’s dialogue and scenes.
In summary, if you are offended by gay and anti-gay humor, avoid “Scary Movie.” Horrified by the thought of seeing Grandma take a header down the stairs, and then get run over by a piano? Avoid “Scary Movie.” Put off by the concept of a character so stoned that when he gets shot in the lung, smoke puffs out of the hole? Avoid “Scary Movie.” Embarrassed to laugh at some admittedly juvenile humor? Avoid “Scary Movie.”
But if all those things are what you find funny, you might think this is the best film of the genre. It’s certainly one of the funniest Halloween movies in the category today.