CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT: SCARY MOVIE 5 (2013)
By Michael Arruda
(THE SCENE: A cabin in the woods. MICHAEL ARRUDA walks through the interior, inspecting the bloody carnage from some horrifying incident. Blood is spattered on the walls, severed body parts are strewn about the floor, and the room is littered with busted and broken furniture.)
MICHAEL ARRUDA (looking things over): I guess I’m too late for THE HANGOVER PART III cast party! Wow, it must have been quite the shindig! Hey look! (picks up a small white object.) It’s one of Stu’s teeth.
Anyway, as much as I’d like to be reviewing THE HANGOVER PART III today, I’m not.
Nope, I’m here today in this cabin in the woods because I’m reviewing that sorry excuse for a comedy, SCARY MOVIE 5 (2013).
(Picks up a severed arm.)
This arm is funnier than anything you’ll see in SCARY MOVIE 5.
(A severed head on the floor suddenly frowns.)
HEAD: But that arm’s not funny at all!
MA: My point exactly. (looks around cabin)
I sure have been spending a lot of time here lately, in this cabin in the woods. L.L. SOARES and I were just here last week reviewing the EVIL DEAD remake, and I’m back here again for today’s review. I wish I were here under better circumstances.
HEAD: I’m glad you’re here. I could use the company.
MA (to HEAD): So, what happened here, anyway? Things must have gotten violent.
HEAD: Why do you say that?
MA: Well, for starters, you’re missing your body!
HEAD: Oh, I’ve been without my body for years. I arrived here this way.
MA: You did?
HEAD: Yeah, someone at the party said they wanted a little head. (Drum beat) So, here I am!
MA: On that note, I should get started on today’s review. We’ll talk more later.
HEAD: I’ll be right here. It’s not like I can leave.
MA: Anyway, I’m here in this cabin because today’s movie, SCARY MOVIE 5 (2013) involves a place just like this, although strangely, one of the movies it didn’t spoof, was the aptly titled THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011).
I’m flying solo this week, as L.L. Soares is off on another assignment—which is code for “I’m not seeing that f—cking lame ass movie so do it yourself Arruda!” —so here I am, facing the dubious task of bringing you today’s review of SCARY MOVIE 5.
Here goes: as if you didn’t already know, SCARY MOVIE 5 sucks. Don’t see it.
Okay, you can go home now.
HEAD: Are you leaving already? Because if you are, would you mind giving me a lift to the closest bus station?
MA: No, I’m not leaving already. That was just a joke.
Even SCARY MOVIE 5 deserves an honest review.
HEAD: Okay, but when you do leave, can you take me to that bus station?
HEAD: I know it’s early, but I’d like to get a head start on the traffic.
MA: Stop, all right? Just stop.
Now, where was I? Yes, the review.
Seriously, unless you’re a diehard fan of the series, and I’m sure there is one of you out there, you have no business seeing this movie. Avoid it like the plague. But you’re smart enough to already know that.
What’s the best part about SCARY MOVIE 5? That Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan only appear in one scene, and it’s the pre-credit sequence. You get them out of the way quickly.
Not that I have anything against Sheen or Lohan, but it’s obvious that they’re only in this movie to exploit their real life personal problems, which I find sad. Keep your personal lives out of the movies, thank you very much!
Unfortunately, what follows after Sheen and Lohan isn’t much better.
SCARY MOVIE 5 spoofs a bunch of horror movies, obviously, and it uses as its framework the recent horror film MAMA (2013) as a young married couple Dan (Simon Rex) and Jody (Ashley Tisdale) agree to take care of Dan’s brother’s kids after they were found abandoned in a cabin in the woods.
So, that’s the framework for this one, but to say that this movie has a plot is saying a lot.
I will say that the scene where Snoop Dog and his buddy first discover the little girls in the cabin is a funny one, and one of the few times I laughed.
HEAD: I liked that scene, too.
MA: So, you saw the movie?
HEAD: What? You think I’m not allowed into movie theaters or something?
MA: I didn’t say that.
HEAD: Of course, I do go early, so I can be at the head of the line.
MA (groans): Enough! You’re giving me a headache.
HEAD: You said that one.
MA: Moving right along—.
In addition to MAMA, the film pokes fun at the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies, and the jokes here are some of the worst. Most involve the overweight housekeeper, in gags that are tasteless and vulgar. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind tasteless and vulgar jokes, but they have to make me laugh. These didn’t.
The film strangely parodies RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011) as Dan’s day job is to work with Caesar and his fellow apes. These scenes were the most disappointing of all. The material here is ripe for laughter, and yet time and time again, the writers drop the ball.
While Dan is busy training Caesar, Jody trains to be a ballerina in scenes spoofing BLACK SWAN (2010), in yet another series of scenes that constantly misfire.
There’s even a pointless sequence lampooning INCEPTION (2010) which seems out of place here and is about as funny as the real movie.
HEAD: Was INCEPTION a comedy?
MA: No. It was a thriller.
HEAD: Then, why did you— oh, I get it now. (laughs).
MA: Probably the funniest sequence in the movie is a spoof of EVIL DEAD (2013), where Jody and her friend take turns reading from the Book of the Dead, which causes some comical results. But other than this, I didn’t laugh much at all.
I’ve heard the argument that films like this shouldn’t be criticized because they’re supposed to be stupid. Really? I thought they were supposed to be funny? And that’s the problem I have with this film. You want to spoof something, do a flippin good job, or don’t do it at all!
Pat Proft and David Zucker wrote this movie, and these guys have a ton of comedic credits, including THE NAKED GUN films, AIRPLANE! (1980) and a bunch of other funny parodies. They should know better.
What’s going on here is lazy writing and taking the easy way out. It’s obvious to me that these jokes were written with the mindset that even if it’s just the tiniest bit humorous, it’s okay. The film plays like a first draft from beginning to end.
So many of the jokes in this movie, had they been properly set up and thought out, could have been very funny. There’s no reason in the world why a movie like SCARY MOVIE 5 couldn’t be a laugh riot. But it’s not, because the jokes just aren’t there.
You’re telling me that you’re spoofing the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies and the best you can do is relentlessly make fun of the housekeeper? That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? You can’t do any better than the lowest common denominator of humor—crude bathroom jokes, vulgar sex jokes—and rehash it over and over? That’s spoofing? I don’t think so. That’s laziness.
Some of the best parodies take specific scenes and have fun with them. That sort of thing is severely lacking here. And if the material isn’t there, if these films have been satirized to death already, then maybe you shouldn’t be making a SCARY MOVIE 5.
The cast can’t save this one either. While Ashley Tisdale is watchable as Jody, there was something about Simon Rex’s performance as Dan that I found irritating. He was over the top silly and goofy without being funny. I have to admit, I strongly disliked most of his scenes, and since he’s in most of the movie, that’s not good.
The rest of the cast either overacts or mails it in, looking as if they’re just there to have fun as opposed to work and actually create something funny.
SCARY MOVIE 5 is rated PG-13, and honestly, this one looks as if it was originally intended to be Rated R and then edited down to a PG-13 rating. Not that it would have made much of a difference.
In one gag, for instance, as Dan and Jody tour the medical facility where their young girls are being cared for, they pass a window where they see two babes showering and soaping up their bodies, and these babes are wearing bathing suits. Now that makes a lot of sense.
HEAD: Who showers wearing a bathing suit?
MA: My point exactly.
HEAD: That was a lame scene! I felt cheated.
MA: Well, yeah. I felt that way after the first five minutes of this one.
I almost gave this movie 0 Knives, but admittedly I did laugh a couple of times, and I did enjoy that EVIL DEAD scene. So, I’ll be generous today, but still, that’s pretty sad to find only one or two laughs in a movie that is supposed to be a comedy.
I give SCARY MOVIE 5 one knife.
Do yourself a favor and see something else this weekend. Okay, I’m out of here.
HEAD: Hey, don’t leave me. Hey! A little help?
MA (sighs): Sure, buddy. What is it? You want me to drop you off at the bus station?
HEAD: Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I feel like washing my hair. Want to do me a huge favor and reach into that duffel bag and hand me that bottle of Head and Shoulders?
MA: You know, I’ve had enough of these lame puns. You’re on your own. I’m outta here. (Exits.)
HEAD: Gee, wasn’t he a heady bastard!
© Copyright 2013 by Michael Arruda
(EDITOR’s NOTE: While I didn’t see this one, I can say that, based on Michael’s review, A HAUNTED HOUSE, which came out earlier this year, sounds a lot funnier than SCARY MOVIE 5. So if you really have to see a horror movie spoof movie this year—you’d be better off seeing that one. It has a lame title, but at least it has some laughs and I gave it a decent review. Check out the review here. ~LLS)
Michael Arruda gives SCARY MOVIE 5 ~ one knife!