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Scary Movie Review

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A group of teenagers are stalked by a serial killer because he knows what they did last Halloween. Can they outwit the masked slasher and survive?

★★★★★

Death by penis! Trimming pubic thatches with hedge cutters! Fountains of jissum! You can forget subtlety. And, while you're at it, you'd be advised to ignore the many old internet rumours currently citing this as ôone of the best spoofs ever! - It isn't.

Spoofs, you see, are a mixed bunch - for every 'Naked Gun', there is always a 'Spy Hard', a fact of which the Wayans are well aware. The creators of 'I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka' and 'Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood', they've been here before.

Originally titled Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween, it comes as no surprise that their next natural step takes as its source Wes Craven's 'Scream' - itself originally titled 'Scary Movie'. A great idea on paper maybe, but this is actually the Wayans' fundamental mistake. Because in focusing so much on one, single film, the other, multitudinous references (as well as those in its working title, 'The Blair Witch Project', 'The Sixth Sense' and, ignoring genre confines, 'The Matrix' and 'The Usual Suspects', are just a few) tend to sit awkwardly. And, more importantly, what appears to have been overlooked is that 'Scream', too, was a spoof. More satire and certainly more intelligent, but a spoof all the same.

So where the majestic 'Airplane' took the rise out of a series of disaster movies that had taken themselves far too seriously, 'Scary Movie' (which only once tries to parody its source's parody - and fails) loses considerable impact by not having its necessary straight man. A Morecambe, if you like, without its Wise.

But even if the humour is perhaps too American (the US Budweiser ads are frequently referenced) to be universal and borders on the offensive with its latent homophobia, the set pieces do tickle, with many a slapstick gem to be discovered - just about often enough to forgive some excruciatingly painful lapses in momentum.

You will laugh, even if you feel slightly ashamed doing so. This is a spoof 'scary movie' spoofing a spoof - Scream - rendering this film fairly pointless.