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Scary Movie 2

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Scary Movie 2

Starring: Anna Faris, Chris Elliott
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Rated: R
RunTime: 82 Minutes
Release Date: July 2001
Genres: Comedy, Horror

*Also starring: Regina Hall, Andy Richter, Natasha Lyonne, Marlon Wayans, Richard Moll, Shawn Wayans, Kathleen Robertson, Tori Spelling, James Woods

Review by Harvey Karten
No Rating Supplied

Though "Scary Movie 2" opens on the Fourth of July, the picture does not give off much in the way of satiric fireworks. With a script written by committee of seven, the film is more proof that if two heads are better than one, se7en can kill a script better than David Fincher can show humankind's depravity.

Given the studio's tagline, "The movie that dares you to come," can you expect the story to transcend the sophomoric? Essentially a series of skits that provide a few laughs, "Scary Movie 2" parodies several films, mostly of the horror genre, its principal good being that it makes even "What Lies Beneath" look like something made by Hitchcock. The Wayans brothers each have a hand in getting flows of fluid from their characters from every bodily orifice so that even the squeamish in the audience cannot be blamed for wishing that blood--strangely absent from this story--were to gush forth instead.

Keenen Ivory Wayans, who returns from the helm of the first "Scary Movie," challenges his targeted teen audience to guess which film is parodied in which scene, but it doesn't take a James Agee to figure out when the energetic cast, helped quite a bit by stunt people and the special effects technocrats, is spoofing "The House on Haunted Hill," or "Poltergeist," "Charlie's Angels," "Mission Impossible 2," or "Hannibal."

The one promising scene occurs at the very beginning, taking place within Hell House like the remaining sequences but appearing to be part of a different movie. The accomplished opener thrives mostly because of the presence of James Woods in the role of Father McFeely, who together with Father Karris (Andy Richter) has arrived to exorcise a fifteen-year-old--who has shocked a group of party goers by demonstrating that she has nothing in common with men plagued by benign prostatic hypertrophy. The party goes downhill during a puke contest, topped by Mr. Woods in his most vulgar bathroom scene ever. >From then we're in the hands of a professor (Tim Curry) who has maneuvered some coeds in his Psych. class to visit Hell House for an experiment, promising an A to anyone who manages to survive the course--a feat which is not at all guaranteed.

Featuring the most obvious sexual and bathroom humor, "Scary Movie 2" shows us what happens when a randy instructor assembles a motley group of blockheads, challenged within Hell House by the ghost of Kane--a now-deceased man who had murdered his mistress and seeks to abduct young Cindy (Anna Faris) to be with him forever. Marlon Wayans once again provides the bulk of the over-the-top raillery while Kathleen Robertson contributes her well-equipped frame, Matthew Friedman the voice of an obscene parrot, Chris Masterson his nice-guy horniness and Chris Elliott his palsied hand. Wheelchair bound Dwight (David Cross) allows the cast to make politically incorrect gags about the handicapped. All in all, "Scary Movie 2" is unamusing enough to make us appreciate the movies it parodies.

Copyright 2001 Harvey Karten

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