Sure, “Scary Movie 5” is dumb, but what did you expect? If the franchise hadn’t already been running on fumes, it certainly is now. Even so, many of the movie’s dopey jokes do hit the mark, although not enough that anyone should start thinking about “Scary Movie 6.”
Realistically, as long as there are horror movies, this series could go on forever. And why not? Like horror movies themselves, they’re cheap to produce, easy to cast and pretty much write themselves, once you establish an anything-for-a-joke vibe with a lot of scatological humor and bonks to the head. The producers of “Scary 5” seemed to have gone into the project asking the question, “How much pain can we inflict on poor Simon Rex?”
Although the ads make “Scary 5” look like a send-up of “Paranormal Activity,” the movie takes bigger shots at this year’s “Mama,” as well as random jabs at “Black Swan,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Inception” and “Insidious.” The people who made the movie could give a rip if any of the bits coalesce, so expect lots of bouncing from joke to joke with minimal amount of payoff.
Most of the series’ regulars have moved on to bigger and better things (Ashley Tisdale stands in for Anna Faris this time, who is remarkably game when it comes to poop-based humor), but you gotta hand it to “Scary 5” for striking while the iron is hot. One entire scene is a parody of the new “Evil Dead,” and that movie came out just last week, for Pete’s sake.
Still, too much of the movie settles for stupid when it ought to be stupid/funny. It’s much funnier than “A Haunted House,” which was another “Paranormal Activity” parody, but both movies still tell a lot of the same dumb jokes. The only difference is instead of lazy references to miscreants like Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan, “Scary 5” actually got the two to participate in the jabs.
★½ out of ★★★★
Rated PG-13 for tons of scatological references, a little gore, drug references and two butt shots. 85 minutes, 2013.
Director: Malcolm D. Lee. Starring: Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex.
Read all of Jesse Hoheisel’s reviews at AFistfulofPopcorn.com.