SCARY MOVIE 4
Scary Movie 4 settles in with a familiar tedium. The targets are, as usual, various fantastique films of recent vintage The Grudge (2004), Saw (2004) and Saw II (2005), M. Night Shyamalans The Village (2004) and Steven Spielbergs War of the Worlds (2005). As with Scary Movie 3, David Zucker also expands the parody widely beyond what could easily fit into the description of a scary movie any longer to also include spoofs of Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Brokeback Mountain (2005). With Zuckers Scary Movies, there has also been the increasing introduction of some satire taken from recent current events here of Leslie Nielsens President doing a parody of George Bushs reading a childrens story as the news of disaster hits; or of Bushs appearance before the UN; of Tom Cruises famous couch-jumping antics on The Oprah Winfrey Show; as well as a repeat of the Michael Jackson gag from Scary Movie 3. Most of the political gags are so broad it is hard to tell if the film even has a particular political point-of-view.
As with the previous Scary Movies, the sense of humour is squarely aimed at the lowest common denominator fart, sex, dick, poop and gay jokes. Though Scary Movie 4 aims to be a parody, there is little in it that is funny. (Although, to its credit, Scary Movie 4 grated less on the nerves in its moronicism than all of the other Scary Movies). Many of the gags one that keeps on going about people trying to unlock a car door, or a sequence with people exchanging guns and knives are witless. Phil McGraw, the host of the massively popular Dr. Phil (2002 ) show, turns up alongside basketballer Shaquille ONeal during the prologue where both more than clearly demonstrate that they are not actors. Dr Phil, who has often seemed an astute folksy pop psychologist on his show, surely only denigrates his standing as a dispenser of serious wisdom by appearing in lowbrow comedy like this.
Moreover, Scary Movie 4 strains to attach its various parodies together into a plot. For instance, Anna Faris moves into a house that is haunted by the Japanese ghost boy from The Grudge; her neighbour happens to be Craig Bierko who is then plunged into a rehash of Tom Cruises role in War of the Worlds. Things become absurdly strained in the attempt to make everything connect the Japanese ghost boy turns from the malicious revenant he was in The Grudge into someone who provides guidance for Anna Faris to solve the alien invasion, whereupon she and Regina Hall travel to find the answers in a village that recreates the 19th Century in a parody of The Village; or else when Anna Faris and Craig Bierko are snatched up into the basket from War of the Worlds, the interior of the trIpod turns out to be the cellar from Saw and the aliens are the clown-faced figures riding around on bicycles from the Saw movies. In the end, what we have is a film that is little more than a variation on the movie spoof skits that appear on shows like Saturday Night Live (1975 ) or French and Saunders (1987 ) that has been awkwardly extruded out into an entire movie.
DaVid Zucker went onto produce/write Scary MoVie (2013) with a different cast.