Scary Movie 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Wes Craven’s Scream— with a script by Kevin Williamson– was supposed to be a snarky take on the then-stale horror genre (note: the horror genre has since slipped back into stale-ness, thanks to the “torture porn” subgenre, the “found footage” subgenre, and the rise of “Sparkling, Ladyboy Vampire” films), a scary movie for people who’d grown bored with the slasher films of the 80’s and early 90’s.  Scream wanted to subvert the genre’s tropes and trappings, and it ended up doing so with panache:  It was equal parts parody and slasher film, and it was successful enough to warrant three sequels (all with diminishing creative returns).  The Scary Movie franchise, on the other hand, wanted to subvert the subversion already happening in the Scream movies, and it did so with the Wayans Brothers behind the camera.  I repeat:  the Wayans Brothers. 


Here’s the thing about the Scary Movie franchise:  it’s a series of snarky jokes built atop another film’s series of snarky jokes, a doubling-down that kinda-sorta worked the first time around…but one that got weaker and weaker as the franchise wore on.  This is some serious irony that we’re talking about;  we are through the looking glass.  Scream was Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s response to the glut of bad slasher movies that dotted the landscape of the 80’s and early 90’s, while Scary Movie (and its absurd number of sequels) serves as the Wayans Brothers’ response to the glut of bad Scream movies that dotted the landscape of the mid-90’s.  All we need now are a series of films mocking the Scary Movie franchise, and we’ll be–

What’s that?  Not Another Not Another Movie is a real thing?  Well, that’s it, game over.  If you need me, I’ll be resting comfortably in my fallout shelter, waiting for the rest of Armageddon to play out.  Think there’ll actually be zombies?

While we’re waiting on the dead to rise, let’s talk about Scary Movie 2.  Yes, it’s a sequel to a parody based on another quasi-parody that came before it, and yes, it features some of the same cast from the original (and shockingly successful) Scary Movie— Anna Farris, for instance, and Marlon Mayans, and Regina Hall– and yeah, it’s directed by the same Wayans Brother (Keenen Ivory, the most feared and terrifying of all the Wayanses), but this one’s much, much different than the original Scary Movie.  Whereas the original stuck to lampooning Craven’s Scream, Scary Movie 2 broadens its horizons to include a number of other films, TV shows, TV commercials, and other bits of pop culture ephemera.  This also means that, whereas Scary Movie had a definite focus and a defined source for its ha-ha’s, Scary Movie 2 takes more of a shotgun approach…with less than spectacular results.

I recall that I originally saw Scary Movie 2 all the way back in July of 2001, following a day spent guzzling beer (and inhaling some sort of smoke) out on a lake in San Antonio, TX.  We’d been out in the sun all day, and by the time my associates and I packed ourselves into a car (hey, I wasn’t driving) and pointed ourselves in the direction of a movie theater, we were beyond “un-sobriety”:  we were completely (insert your preferred euphemism for “wasted” here).  I recall that I could barely follow the plotline in Scary Movie 2, that it all seemed to fly by without making a lot of sense, and I recall thinking that it all looked very, very cheap.  I also recall not laughing a lot– if at all– a memory that’s far more damning than the fact that the film looked a little cheap:  if a group of teenagers who’d spent an entire day sitting in the Texas summer sun ingesting all manner of intoxicants couldn’t laugh at the movie, said movie was probably not very funny.

I walked out of that theater and told myself I’d probably never watch Scary Movie 2 again.  And then, ten years later (almost to the month!), WhySoBlu.com sends me the Blu-ray for review.  I opened the package with trepidation, worried that I’d be wasting a good 90 minutes (for a second time, no less) that I’d never get back.  Would the film still look cheap?  Would it still be so unfunny?  Would the jokes die on the vine, over and over again, as often as I remembered they did?  Or would taking in the film sober change any of that?  Answers:  Oh, yes, spectacularly so, absolutely, and no.

This is the kinda flick that introduces a new double entendre, punchline, visual gag, pun, or wacky character every thirty seconds or so.  The kind of film where CGI penises erupt from walls, where James Woods plays a kiddie-loving priest.  The kind of comedy where an Old Faithful-sized stream of semen erupts from a man who’s been brought to orgasm inside a walk-in freezer.  The kind of film that–perhaps most damningly– squanders the talents of David Cross, a man whose talent is so big, it has to be seen from the stratosphere to be completely appreciated.  That bears repeating, actually:  Scary Movie 2 isn’t funny despite the inclusion of David Cross.  Think about that for a few hours and see if you aren’t suicidal.

This is a “comedy” for people who don’t understand why things are funny.  And now that it’s on Blu-ray, all the people who still quote Austin Powers, think According to Jim is the pinnacle of televised comedy, and do Borat impressions whenever they’re inside crowded bars have something to look forward to the next time they’re in a Best Buy.



Scary Movie 2‘s awfulness is represented in not-so-stunning 1080p (1.85:1, Widescreen), and yeah, that’s good, but it’s not in service of anything that looks particularly good:  the sets in the film all appear to have been fashioned from leftover sets, balsa wood, and Crayola paints, and the costumes all appear ripped from the clearance racks at Ross.  Just about the only thing I can say positively here is this:  there are a number of dark scenes in Scary Movie 2, and those scenes feature deep, sharp blacks (by which I mean the literal darkness of the scenes;  I wasn’t referring to the Wayanses in an utterly racist way).


The audio’s 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and it sounds pretty sharp.  I cranked the film through my surround-sound system to see if that’d improve my viewing experience.  On the one hand, I did feel more fully immersed in the shenanigans.  On the other hand, the shenanigans-in-question left me feeling dumber and in need of a long shower-cry.  Song selections presented in the film come through loud and clear, dialogue sounds sharp, and the film’s “score” (bwahahaha) sounds appropriately melodramatic and overproduced.

Special Features 

Once again, I’m put in the position of defending a series of special features attached to a film that simply isn’t very good.  If we separate the terribleness of the film from the quality of the special features, we must agree that Miramax/Lionsgate (they’re the bastards responsible for this) have provided Scary Movie 2 fans with a more than adequate special features package.   Witness:

  • “Behind The Scenes” featurette:  Note that the quotation marks aren’t mine;  they’re used for all the special features listed here, somewhat inexplicably.  Is “Behind The Scenes” supposed to be an ironic statement?  Is it “Behind The Scenes” in-name-only?  Or is someone in charge of printing up Blu-ray coverbox art just a little quotation-mark happy?  You make the call!  But first, be aware that the “Behind The Scenes” featurette delivers what it promises:  a “Behind The Scenes” look at the making of Scary Movie 2.
  • “Behind The Makeup” featurette:  Again with the quotation marks.  This featurette shows you how the Brothers Wayans pulled off some of the film’s more elaborate makeup effects, and you’ll be shocked to remember that, yeah, the film really does feature a good number of makeup effects (the ghosts, the gore, and so on).  This featurette’s actually worth a whirl if you’re at all interested in how the Wayans Brothers brought their dream of a baby-handed Chris Elliot to life.
  • “Here Kitty, Kitty” featurette:  A featurette dedicated to the film’s completely-not-infamous “Here, Kitty, Kitty” scene, a scene I struggled to remember even after seeing the film twice.  Relive the magic here.
  • “Scary Effects” featurette:  Cover the non-makeup effects, but by this point you’ll be kinda Scary Movie 2‘d out.
  • Special Effects Tour:  Yet another featurette covering the film’s more-elaborate-than-you’d-expect-while-watching-the-film special effects.
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes:  You know what these are, and you can probably guess why they’ve been deleted.

All in all, a pretty solid set of special features.  If only the movie they were in service of didn’t blow.

Final Thoughts 

Overall, Scary Movie 2 isn’t an aggressively bad movie.  I know I’ve spent the last however-many-words ragging on the film, but as far as these kinda parody movies go, it really is far from the worst:  you’ve got the adorable Anna Farris being adorable (and the funniest thing in the movie), you’ve got David Cross, you’ve got Chris Elliot’s baby-hand.  Any of these things is funnier than something you might see in a Friedberg/Seltzer joint (those’re the guys that produce all the Date Movie/Epic  Movie/Disaster Movie crimes-against-humanity….I mean, “movies”), and even if the film does look like it cost less to make than Catfish (shocking fun fact:  Scary Movie 2 cost $45m to produce), there are some unique effects on display here.  I wouldn’t recommend that you purchase Scary Movie 2, but I wouldn’t be opposed to someone putting it on for the purposes of mockery…or to have something to watch while some sort of smoking might be going on.

It’s really all just very meh.



Order Scary Movie 2 on Blu-ray!


3 Responses to “Scary Movie 2 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Pretty much agree with everything you had to say here. Although the opening of Scary Movie 2 is pretty funny.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Kathleen Robertson is hot.

    David Cross rules. I want to shake Chris Elliott’s baby hand.

    That is all.

  3. Brian White

    I heart Kathleen Robertson