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Default Scary Movie



Reviewer: Dave
Review Date: December 13, 2000

Released by: Dimension
Release date: 12/12/2000
MSRP: $19.99
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 2.35:1 | 16x9: Yes



The Story

inline Image "High school student" Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) is violently, and humorously killed by a masked figure wearing a black cloak. The next day there is a media frenzy where Drew was attending high school. This frenzy is being led by reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri), who makes a living off such tragedies. Gail tries to dig up some additional information from police on what happened but is always answered with, "No comment!". She finally finds a retarded policeman named Doofy (Dave Sheridan) who can be enticed to talk.

inline Image Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), a student at the school, meets up with friends and fellow students Brenda (Regina Hall), Shorty (Marlon Wayans), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth), Gregg (Lochlyn Munro), and her boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams). She's worried about the murder because it took place exactly 1 year after she and her friends accidentally killed a man while out partying in their car one night. Her friends tell her she's being ridiculous, that only they know about the murder, and they remind her that they all swore to an oath - to never speak of the murder to anyone, to bring that secret to their graves.

inline Image Cindy realizes her suspicions turn out to be true when she starts receiving notes that have, "I know what you did last Halloween" written on them. Before long her friends start getting killed off one by one as the masked villan does his work. Will Cindy be able to survive and find out who it is behind the mask that discovered her secret?

inline Image Wes Craven brought us such horror classics as A Nightmare on Elm Street, New Nightmare and The Last House on the Left. Sadly, he was also responsible for bringing us such trash as Scream, Scream 2, and Scream 3. Lets not forget writer Kevin Williamson's role in all this either. He was responsible for writing the Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer trash. Yuck! Giving my personal reasons why I dislike those movies is really beyond the scope of this review, but I felt it important to at least state my feelings to help clarify my next few statements. I'm happy to say that this trash I speak of wasn't a total waste. Something GOOD and ENTERTAINING has finally come as a result of all the Scream and Summer movies. What I'm speaking of is, of course, Scary Movie. Ironically it was created and distributed by the same company responsible for these Craven/Williamson atrocities - Dimension.

inline Image Director Keenan Ivory Wayans, along with brothers Shawn and Marlon, who helped write the movie and also starred in it, have created the perfect horror spoof. Obviously it's full of jabs at both the Scream and Summer movies, but also such movies as The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, A Nightmare on Elm Street and others. They really do manage to take spoofing to the next level with by using strong profanity, male frontal nudity and the graphic sex scenes. What other spoof does all of this to such perfection? None that I know of. The male nudity scenes really worked here. They're a nice slap in the face to all of us who are so used to seeing female nudity as a norm in horror movies.

I choose to not discuss any of the humorous points of the movie while writing the plot outline. Instead I chose to write a standard outline that does actually try to summarize the plot. Giving away any of the humor, even if it were a tiny bit, would not be any sort of service to the readers of this site. Perhaps some of you out there haven't seen this yet. I'd hate to be responsible for giving away any of the many scenes that will have you laughing your ass off. Definitely go out and rent or buy this movie - it's a must see for all horror mans. Of course you shouldn't expect anything SCARY, but do expect an extremely FUNNY spoof. You leave laughing, but more importantly you'll leave feeling avenged for all the time you wasted watching the Scream and Summer movies.

Image Quality

inline Image Dimension presents Scary Movie in an anamorphic widescreen transfer in it's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. For such a new movie it's not surprise that the transfer is quite stunning. It's grain and blemish free. Colors are strong and nicely saturated; flesh tones appear accurate. Image quality is generally sharp overall but some scenes are a bit on the soft side. Definitely worthy of its A rating.

Sound

Scary Movie is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. Sadly surrounds just don't get much usage in Scary Movie. There were many scenes where they could've been some nice surround effects, but they're just not there. LFE has moderate usage, but is also somewhat lacking. A decent soundtrack here but I was really expecting a bit more.

Supplemental Material

inline Image As with the sound mix, extras are somewhat lacking on this DVD. Don't get me wrong, there are some enjoyable ones but I really wanted a commentary track on this with the Wayans brothers. But commentary tracks aren't always possible as actors and directors often have other commitments to fulfill. Lets take a look what extras we do get. First up are several deleted scenes presented in non-anamorphic widescreen. These deleted scenes will definitely give you some more laughs, and I'm sure many of you will agree that they should've all been left in the movie. But it's obvious they had to be cut to avoid an NC-17 rating.

inline Image Next is a behind-the-scenes featurette that runs 7 minutes in length. It contains interviews with the Wayans brothers as well as other members of the cast and crew. The Wayans discuss the script development along with their thoughts on particular aspects of the filmmaking process. It's all interested and enjoyable to watch, but sadly, 7 minutes leaves you hungry for more.

Also included is a theatrical trailer and some DVD-ROM extras - Scary Movie: A Guide for the Culturally Challenged (Enhanced Playback Track and Synchronized Trivia Game), Screenplay Viewer, Character Profiles, Screen Saver, and access to DVD Destination site.

Final Thoughts

Nearly flawless video presentation, though the DD5.1 sound leaves a bit to be desired. Sadly, there aren't nearly as many extras as there should be, but there are some hilarious deleted scenes as well a short making-of featurette that everyone should enjoy. This is a hilarious movie that should be seen by all horror buffs. Both Scream / Summer lovers and haters should enjoy the over-the-edge comedy found in Scary Movie. At least rent it, though I'd suggest rushing out and buying this one.

Rating

Movie - A-
Image Quality - A
Sound - B-
Supplements - B-

Technical Info.
  • Color
  • Running time - 1 hour 28 minutes
  • Rated R
  • 1 Disc
  • Chapter stops
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Optional Spanish subtitles

Supplements
  • Deleted scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • DVD-ROM extras - Scary Movie: A Guide for the Culturally Challenged (Enhanced Playback Track and Synchronized Trivia Game), Screenplay Viewer, Character Profiles, Screen Saver, and access to DVD Destination site.

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