Parody movies are no laughing matter! If you’ve ever seen Spaceballs or the original Scary Movie, then you’ll know just how hard it is for a parody movie to be funny as those two films are more the exception than the rule. With Spaceballs and Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks got lucky. He parodied classic films like Star Wars and the old Universal horror pictures, so in that way, his parodies will never get old. But it’s a little different for the Marlon Wayans and Anna Faris classic, Scary Movie, since the films it parodied got old kind of quick. That’s why it’s amazing that the original Scary Movie is still so hilarious today!
In fact, I think all of the Scary Movie films are funny. To a certain extent, anyway. But horror is interesting, since what’s considered “scary” at the time is always changing, which is why the films that the Scary Movie franchise parodied usually directly affected the hilarity of each movie. Like, do you find the idea of Jigsaw's Billy the puppet riding a giant tricycle funny? No? Then, you probably won’t think Scary Movie 4 is funny at all. Now, some might say that the series went downhill once the Wayans family was no longer involved, and there’s some truth to that. But again, I think all the films are funny, even 3, 4, and 5. But which is the funniest movie in the franchise? Well, you’re about to find out, since here are all five Scary Movies, ranked.
5. Scary Movie 5 (2013)
Starring Ashley Tisdale, who replaced series mainstay, Anna Faris, Scary Movie 5 is the last movie in the franchise but somehow feels the most dated. It might be because it starts off with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan making a sex tape as a parody of Paranormal Activity. In fact, the whole movie kind of follows that whole found footage trend, which in itself feels like a million years ago. The plot centers on a husband (played by Simon Rex) and wife (played by Tisdale) bringing home their baby to a new house, and then freaky stuff occurs. Yeah, this was the Insidious/Sinister/Paranormal Activity era of horror, which is an era I like. Just not in parody form.
Scary Movie 5’s jokes feel tired from the very first scene. I like some of the Katt Williams stuff, because I just like Katt Williams, but the parodies of films like Inception, Black Swan, and Fifty Shades of Grey were not funny back then, and are especially not funny now. I don’t hate Scary Movie 5. I just don’t particularly like it, either.
4. Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Scary Movie 4 is a strange one since its main base for parody is War of the Worlds, which probably would have been better suited for Disaster Movie, but whatever. This time around, Anna Faris’ character, Cindy Campbell, and Regina Hall, who plays her best friend, Brenda, team up with a Tom Cruise-stand-in (Craig Bierko) to try and stop an alien invasion. It’s kind of funny, and hey, Mr. Naked Gun himself, Leslie Nielsen, also reprises his role as the President that he played in Scary Movie 3, so that’s kind of rad.
I think there are a lot of misses in Scary Movie 4, but the jokes that land are pretty funny. It starts off parodying Saw with Shaq and Dr. Phil, and I find this version of Billy the Puppet to be kind of humorous. I also like some of the movies they parody in this one, like The Grudge, The Village, and Million Dollar Baby. But in the end, those misses do kind of bring it down, and a lot of the humor feels forced. At best, Scary Movie 4 is forgettable, and at worst, it’s annoying. But I just find it somewhere in-between.
3. Scary Movie 3 (2003)
The first Scary Movie to not have the Wayans Bros. in it, Scary Movie 3 is actually pretty funny. Its main base of parody is The Ring and Signs, and the plot concerns Anna Faris’ character taking on the Naomi Watts role from The Ring as a journalist. This is also the start of Charlie Sheen being in the franchise, and he’s not annoying in this one. It’s actually not bad.
I have a soft spot for Scary Movie 3, mostly because it actually parodies its movies much better than 4 and 5 ever did. For instance, it makes fun of silly plot details such as the aliens in Signs being allergic to water. In this one, the characters knock the aliens heads off and say, “Without their heads, they’re powerless!”. I also think the movies it parodies are just better, and I especially like the 8 Mile scenes. Overall, Scary Movie 3 is definitely the best of the non-Wayans family movies, by like, a lot.
2. Scary Movie 2 (2001)
Dealing with the supernatural this time, Scary Movie 2 is, in my opinion, the last great Scary Movie film. The story centers on the surviving characters from the first movie going to a haunted house, and… that’s kind of it. Scary Movie 2 does have a plot, but it doesn’t really feel like it since the film is more just joke, after joke, after joke. It starts off with an Exorcist parody, and I guess The Haunting would be its base film. But it parodies everything from older movies like Poltergeist to more current films at the time like What Lies Beneath and Hollow Man. And pretty much all of the jokes land. Even today.
I still laugh at this movie. I love Chris Elliot with his little hand, and David Cross being like the character in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What I love most about Scary Movie 2 though is that it’s a send-up of supernatural movies in general, so it has a broad range of humor and didn’t just tackle movies of the day. If I have one complaint, it’s that it’s not as funny as the original. Still, if Scary Movie 1 and 2 were the only two in the franchise to exist, I don’t think I’d be too upset.
1. Scary Movie (2000)
Like Scary Movie 2, the original Scary Movie also has a plot, but it doesn’t matter. It parodies Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer and it’s hilarious all the way through. Anna Faris takes on the Jennifer Love Hewitt role, and she’s perfect in it. The jokes parody some of the oldest material, like those old, “Wasssup,” Budweiser commercials and The Matrix, but here, they feel more like a time capsule rather than just being dated.
You know, my favorite parody film of all time is Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and the thing is, I’m not even a fan of the gangster movies that that film parodies. But much like that movie, which was also done by the Wayans family, Scary Movie is just overall super silly, and it really doesn’t matter what movies it’s parodying since it’s extremely funny all on its own. Yes, watching Officer “Doofy” parodying The Usual Suspects lands better if you’ve actually seen The Usual Suspects, but even if you haven’t (which I hadn’t at the time), it’s still really funny how they pulled it off. Yep, I enjoy the other Scary Movies, but I love the original.