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00655 - SCARY MOVIE 4

Movie-Hype00655 - SCARY MOVIE 4

“This isn't a war. This is like humans fighting maggots. Or dragons fighting wolves. Or humans on dragons throwing wolves at maggots.”

-Oliver, from SCARY MOVIE 4


The funniest part of SCARY MOVIE 4 is in the opening, and probably wouldn’t even be funny to most people. Shaq and Dr. Phil are chained up in a basement, in a SAW-like fashion. Shaq says “Where am I? and Jigsaw says “You’ve been taken against your will.” Shaq tentatively asks, “Kobe?”

Hyperion’s Rating Guide

Suspension of Disbelief: 10 (out of 10, and if you’re the type to take parodies seriously, do yourself a favor and watch the documentary DUDE WHERE’S MY CAR?)

Genre Grade: In the parody genre, you have AIRPLANE and NAKED GUN as A+, and I would say SCARY MOVIE gets an A. For SCARY MOVIE 4 I’d go no higher than C-, and that’s only because there are quite a few worse.

Family Fare? If they’re in high school, they’ve seen worse.

Kickassability? Getting Dr. Phil to admit he’s a fraud (and Shaq to miss free throws) is a coup, so I’ll say a 5 (out of 100)

Pantheon Percentile: The purpose of this rating is to rank the film in the pantheon of all films ever. A 60 would mean that said film was better than 60% of all films ever made, while worse than 40%. Even though SM4 wasn’t a god-awful experience, when you really think about it, there’s no way it’s better than many films. A very generous 15.

If you don’t find that funny, not to worry. There are plenty more targets. (Including Dr. Phil, who admits he’s not a real doctor but an electrician, and doesn’t really help anybody. And they get him to say Mutha_____. Impressive.) Movies from WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE GRUDGE, THE VILLAGE, THE SKELETON KEY, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and a whole host of others are parodied in the slapdash film. Perhaps the funniest one isn’t even a movie at all, but the reaction of the president to immanent alien invasion. (Leslie Nielsen, sitting in a classroom of children listening to a story. Again, you’re either chuckling right now, or you’re not.)

The comedy is definitely hit-or-miss, and if you’ve seen popular movies in the last two years—or are at least aware of pop culture—you should get most of it. Oddly, there’s a somewhat cohesive plot for this type of film, but it doesn’t help the humor at all.

I really liked the first Scary Movie, and the second one was okay. Dropping the “R” rating for #3 was I think a big mistake—although probably not for the bottom line—and 4 continues that trend of PG-13 humor. I’m not saying a screen full of titties would have made a better movie, but at least I’d have a tad more enthusiasm about it. SCARY MOVIE 4 is no better or worse than most of these types of films, but you’re a moron if you pay theatre prices to find that out. I can see maybe a rental, but better yet: let a friend rent it and then watch with him when you have nothing better to do.

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