Scary Movie 3

"Good"

Scary Movie 3 Review


The "Scary Movie" horror spoofs must be some kind of mutant, alien movie franchise. There's just no other explanation for the fact that the sequels actually keep getting better. And unlike the hilarious but indefensibly scattershot second installment, "Scary Movie 3" even has a coherent combo-platter plot.

Serving up campy twists on The Ring's" killer-videotape plot and the alien invasion from Signs" -- with a little mock-"8 Mile" thrown in for flava -- the story catches up with wide-eyed dingbat heroine Anna Faris (who goofed on Neve Campbell's "Scream" character in the first two films) after she has become a blonde TV reporter (a la Naomi Watts in "The Ring") who discovers the creepy VHS cassette that curses anyone who watches it to die horribly in seven days. But when she tries to warn the world of its dangers, her producer puts his foot down: "No more paranoid on-air rants about the supernatural!"

Meanwhile Charlie Sheen -- returning to the kind of parody he showed such a deadpan knack for in 1991's "Hot Shots!" -- plays a farmer and former priest (shades of Mel Gibson in "Signs") whose cornfields have been flattened in a mysterious "crop circle" that from above reads "Attack Here!" with an arrow pointing to his house.

Sheen gets one of the movie's funniest lines in a "Signs"-send-up flashback to his wife's severed-at-the-waist death. "You mean this is the last time I can talk to the top half?" he asks the sheriff. "How about the bottom half? Can I squeeze in a few minutes with that?"

Since even the most sidesplitting dialogue is never done justice when quoted in movie reviews (without Sheen's deadpan delivery it's just not the same), I won't provide too many laugh spoilers here, except to say that the movie's opening riff on the first scene of "The Ring" had me laughing so hard I knew I was in good hands.

Dolled up in absurdly miniscule Catholic schoolgirl get-ups, Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson lampoon their professional bimbo personas, scaring each other with the urban legend of the spooky video -- which Pam mistakes for another underground tape with which she's more, ahem, intimately familiar -- before one of them turns up dead while the other stares blankly at her friend's disfigured and severed head asking, "Um, are you OK?"

Mistaking the video for something more incriminating is a running gag in "Scary Movie 3" ("It was New Orleans, I'd never had vodka before and I was out of beads!"), but while the flick finds jokes in every nook and cranny, it doesn't run off in 20 directions at once as its predecessors did under the slapdash writing and direction of the originating Wayans brothers (writer/actors Shawn and Marlon, and director Keenan Ivory).

This sequel has been handed off to the likes of veteran lampoon director David Zucker ("Airplane!," the "Naked Gun" movies) and screenwriters like satire specialist Pat Proft ("Real Genius," the "Naked Gun" and "Hot Shots!" flicks) and pop-culture cult-flick comedy guru Kevin Smith ("Clerks," "Chasing Amy," "Dogma," etc.). While all these guys have black marks on their filmographies, they rise to the occasion here, retaining the series' urban sense of humor (gangbangers turn up to fight the aliens then kill each other off instead), but adding more zing and sting -- and considerably more adept moviemaking behind the camera.

While slow in spots and packed with cameos (Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin and George Carlin all have "Matrix"-mocking one-scene roles) "Scary 3" never loses sight of its central plot: What is the connection between the crop circle aliens and the videotape? (It's hilarious -- that's what it is.) But more importantly, the hit-to-miss joke ratio is about 20 to one.

"Lord of the Rings," the Coors Beer "Twins" ads, "The Others," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," child molesting priests and Michael Jackson, Mother Teresa, "American Idol's" Simon Cowell (playing himself) -- they all get skewered here, and that list is just off the top of my head.

The unevenness of the "Scary Movie" franchise is a lesson in how hard it can be to get spoof comedy right, but in this case the third time is definitely the charm.



Scary Movie 3

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 84 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th October 2003

Box Office USA: $109.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $220.7M

Budget: $48M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Dimension Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 82

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Becca, as Kate, Marny Eng as Tabitha, as Tom, as George, Jianna Ballard as Sue, as Ross Giggins, as Cindy Campbell, as Brenda Meeks, as Annie, as Aunt Shaneequa/The Oracle, as President Baxter Harris, as CJ, as Mahalik, as Trooper Champlin, as The Architect, as Simon Cowell

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.