Scary Movie 5 is not completely devoid of laughs. In fact, there’s probably the same amount of chuckles to be had in this sequel than in your average marginally funny, somewhat passable comedy. Unfortunately, the ones here are surrounded by so much shit (sometimes literally) that it’s hard to muster up anything more than a half-smile. Scary Movie 5 doesn’t just have some groan-worthy jokes, it has some gags so awful they barely qualify as attempts at comedy. DJs spinning pizza? Bananas filled with shit? Pool cleaners dressed up in tuxedos?
No single one of those aforementioned jokes is even a problem on its own. There are always going to be painful misses in slapstick joke-joke-joke movies. Even the all-time classics like Airplane and The Naked Gun don’t always get it right, but at least those movies bat over fifty percent. Scary Movie 5 maybe maybe touches base one of out ten times, which just isn’t enough to maintain likeability or forward momentum or a reason for existing.
Since it does exist, however, we might as well go over the specifics of the plot. The story follows a married couple named Jody (Ashley Tisdale) and Dan (Simon Rex) who are forced to adopt their nieces and nephews after a sketchy accident befalls his brother (Charlie Sheen). Thanks to months living alone in the woods, the children have turned into weirdos who answer to a supernatural force called Mama. In order to stop her, Jody decides to try and track down an evil book hidden somewhere in a cabin in the woods.
Mama was released earlier this year, and the Evil Dead remake is actually still in theaters. Based on these two films, it would be natural to think Scary Movie 5 is pretty current in what films it skewers. Unfortunately, that’s not actually the case. Much of the spoof’s plot is intertwined with Black Swan and Inception, both of which are now three years old. There’s also pretty clear shout-outs to The Help and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, which weren’t exactly released yesterday either. Scary Movie 5 doesn't even use the time since these ancient targets left the theaters to come up with something original or even something funny to say, making the jabs feel even more dated and pointless
Scary Movie 5 is filled with gross-out jokes that push the boundaries of good taste. The film also lacks a coherent structure, isn’t edited particularly well, has some voice over problems and is filled with too many unnecessary cameos. Coupled with some less than stellar acting performances and a subject matter that doesn’t really push the envelope, this horror spoof has a ton of problems. None of those issues have anything to do with why this movie isn’t worth recommending, however. The only real problem of substance with Scary Movie 5 is that it’s filled to the brim with horrendous jokes, and those gags that do succeed (many of which involve Sheen and Lohan) just aren’t good enough to make up for the general malaise of failure that hangs over the rest of the production.
It’s not about the number of hits. It’s about the ratio of hits to misses, and Scary Movie 5’s is just godawful.