Scary Movie 4

The two scariest moments in this horror-movie spoof, the fourth in the SCARY MOVIE franchise, involve Leslie Nielsen's naked body and Anthony Anderson in assless chaps. Otherwise, it's more of the same goofball gags and broad digs at hit movies and pop-culture trends. And the series title becomes increasingly misleading: The usual genre suspects — SAW...read more

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Reviewed by Angel Cohn
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The two scariest moments in this horror-movie spoof, the fourth in the SCARY MOVIE franchise, involve Leslie Nielsen's naked body and Anthony Anderson in assless chaps. Otherwise, it's more of the same goofball gags and broad digs at hit movies and pop-culture trends. And the series title becomes increasingly misleading: The usual genre suspects — SAW (2004), THE GRUDGE (2004), THE VILLAGE (2004), WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005) — take their licks, but much of the movie's running time is devoted to poking fun at BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005), MILLION DOLLAR BABY (2004) and Oprah. While some viewers may find gay cowboys and Winfrey's sisterhood of tears very scary indeed, they don't really qualify on the chill-inducing front. Recently widowed Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) has gone from TV reporter to professional female boxer to home health aide; she takes a job caring for the catatonic Mrs. Norris (Cloris Leachman) and finds a new love interest in her divorced next-door neighbor Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko). But Cindy is soon entangled in finding out why a mysterious young ghost is haunting her new digs, while Tom spends the weekend trying to bond with his temperamental teenage son (Beau Mirchoff) and wide-eyed daughter (Conchita Campbell). Cindy's quest soon leads to a long road trip with her sex-addicted best friend, Brenda (Regina Hall), which takes them to a small, antiquated village that doesn't take kindly to outsiders. Tom, meanwhile, flees the city with his kids when giant aliens attack, providing the president (Leslie Nielsen) with many new opportunities to bumble. Chaos ensues until the couple is bizarrely reunited, and the door is left open for a sequel — not that continuity is necessarily a key element in this scattershot franchise. Why so many relatively well-known actors (of varying degrees of talent) agree to appear in these films is a minor mystery but, like the AIRPLANE pictures of the 1980s, they attract a slew of familiar faces. In fact, it's hard to imagine a new goofball parody that doesn't feature Charlie Sheen or Carmen Electra. While some of the gags are genuinely funny — imagine, if you will, a self-doubting Dr. Phil and Shaquille O'Neal trapped together in a bathroom, SAW-style — many are just gross, like the one involving Electra as a blind girl in lacy lingerie who mistakes a courtroom for a WC. But for those jonesing for a loosely connected string of comedy sketches, heavy on the scatological humor, this is the fix.

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  • Released: 2006
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: The two scariest moments in this horror-movie spoof, the fourth in the SCARY MOVIE franchise, involve Leslie Nielsen's naked body and Anthony Anderson in assless chaps. Otherwise, it's more of the same goofball gags and broad digs at hit movies and pop-cul… (more)

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