The predecessor to this release, Scary Movie, was promoted as "No mercy, No shame, No sequel" yet here we are with Scary Movie 2. The reasoning behind this is quite simply that the makers were offered a stack of cash to produce a follow up to the very successful first film. This time around the promotion is "More merciless, More shameless" and without a doubt less taste. Fans of the first film are in for more of the same, and why not?
As was the case with Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2 targets a vast amount of films in the horror genre. The main ones that attract parody this time around are The Haunting, House On Haunted Hill, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, Hannibal and What Lies Beneath, but the targets don't stop there. Mission Impossible, Charlie's Angels and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon also get a decent serve, along with a ton of others.
This time the plot revolves around a group of college students who are selected to stay in a haunted house for the weekend, under the guidance of a rather horny professor, to study the effects of insomnia. Now just in that opening sentence there are storylines from at least three films, so there is no risk of the makers of this film being accused of singling out any one flick. The Professor and his wheelchair-bound assistant have ulterior motives however, as does the resident caretaker. All this makes for a rather scary story, well you would think so anyway. What actually occurs is a lot of fun.
The quote above will give you an idea of the type of humour contained in this film. This quote refers to the fight between the lead female and the black cat that looks suspiciously like the one from Sabrina, but the sexual reference is quite blatant for those that may by some chance miss it.
There are many highlights in this film that will guarantee a good laugh. Scenes of note are the exorcism, the catfight and the talking parrot, but I am sure each viewer will have their own preference. I must also say that Tori Spelling plays a stalker with disturbing accuracy. Drug references are a constant, as is toilet humour, but these are the standard formula for a teen movie really.
Starring two of the Wayans brothers and directed by a third, this is definitely a family project. Many of the cast from Scary Movie return for this sequel, along with recognisable actors Tim Curry and Christopher Kennedy Masterson (the older brother from Malcolm in the Middle). There is one disappointment with this film however. It all depends on personal taste, but I found that a lot of the deleted scenes shown in the extras would have been better actually left in the film, even replacing some that are already there. This is of course personal choice and I am sure the makers of the film disagree, but now you can be the judge.
If you liked Scary Movie or any number of the teen horror/comedy films recently released then you should get some pleasure from Scary Movie 2. It is extremely silly, but sometimes that can be just the right tonic. The best suggestion is to get some friends over, have a few drinks (of cordial, of course) and have a good laugh. Maybe even do a double header with a serious film, for a bit of balance.
Audio supplied is a choice of English or Italian Dolby Digital 5.1. With my Italian being limited to "ciao" and "pizza" I thought it best to listen to the English. Dialogue is clear at all times, along with the great sound effects used to accompany the visual effects. Separation is generally good, although the rear speakers didn't get too much use, which seemed a shame because when they were used it really added to the scene. I did find the sound level a little low, but this is not a major problem. The subwoofer was reasonably quiet throughout, again a shame but nothing too terrible. Synch is not a problem and although this is not of demonstration quality, it is more than adequate.
For fans of Scary Movie, this is a must see film. For those that love a good silly film that parodies many popular films, this is also a must see. For those that enjoy a good plot, dramatic acting and a film that challenges the viewer, look elsewhere. This is not hysterical by any means, but it is a good fun film that should offend everybody at some point, and that is after all what we want from such a film, isnít it?