Scary Movie 2

2001, Movie, R, 95 mins


SCARY MOVIE may have boasted "No mercy. No shame. No sequel." But there's no arguing with $156,997,000 in domestic box office receipts, so it was inevitable that the Wayans brothers — director Keenen Ivory and co-writers Marlon and Shawn — would embark on another tag-team screen roast. Where SCARY MOVIE sliced juicy snippets from slasher movies and diced all things teen, the sequel does a satisfying hatchet job on the spooky — or as the Wayans see it, kooky — world of supernatural pictures. Casting a satirical eye over such classic chillers as THE EXORCIST, THE HAUNTING, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and POLTERGEIST, as well as recent suspensers like THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, WHAT LIES BENEATH and HANNIBAL (as well as such non-supernatural but broad-as-a-barn targets as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 and CHARLIE'S ANGELS), the brothers' sharply spliced-together script is spoofed up with familiar references to current pop culture. It's one year after the events chronicled in SCARY MOVIE, and its young survivors — Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Brenda (Regina Hall) and Shorty (Marlon Wayans) — are college freshmen. Along with classmates Buddy (Chris Masterson, of TV's Malcolm in the Middle), Theo (Kathleen Robertson) and Alex (Tori Spelling... yes, Tori Spelling), they have been tricked into agreeing to spend a weekend playing human lab rats in a sleep deprivation study conducted by the Professor (Tim Curry) and his wheelchair-bound assistant Dwight (David Cross). What the professor neglects to tell them is the mansion in which they're going to be observed is known in paranormal circles as "Hell House," and is haunted by a restless, violent and libidinous ghost (Richard Moll). In addition, a possessed pussy cat, an evil doll, a potty-mouthed parrot and other frightening ghouls do their utmost to scare the bejeesus out of Cindy and company. But no one is more frightening and menacing than Hanson, the butler, played with fiendish demented glee by Chris Elliott. As to the inevitable matter of body count, suffice it to say that some will make it and others won't be so lucky. James Woods, Andy Richter, Natasha Lyonne and Veronica Cartwright appear in THE EXORCIST-inspired prologue that delivers some of the picture's grossest moments. Parodies are always a hit-or-miss affairs: The trick is to keep lobbing those gags so fast and furious that viewers forget the ones that miss the mark. Given their track record, the prospect of further SCARY Wayans sequels isn't scary at all. leave a comment --Stephen Miller

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