Scary Movie 2
There’s a pretty funny parody of Charlie’s Angels tucked inside Scary Movie 2 — at least, it might have been funny if the movie getting skewered weren’t already such a loopy parody of itself. In the bowels of a spooky mansion, three leather-clad chopsocky babes charge at a villain — Chris Elliott, looking grodier than ever with a fright wig and shriveled hand — and it takes a good 15 seconds for one of their slo-mo, high-flying balletic kicks to travel through the air. We get the joke (THESE FIGHT SCENES ARE INCREDIBLY EXAGGERATED), yet it’s like chuckling at a rerun. A juicy movie spoof awakens you to conventions and cliches so banal you didn’t know they were there. Scary Movie 2 is a desperate act of nose thumbing that never quite figures out how, or even where, to position its thumb.
Last summer, in the first Scary Movie, the Wayans brothers caught the moment by reveling in the smutty shock-theater extremity that seemed to be exploding everywhere in pop culture. In the guise of mocking the Scream films, they exposed the horndog roots of teen-horror trash, pushing the envelope of grossness and raunch as a way to lampoon just how far the envelope could be pushed. (Carmen Electra’s cheesy sprinkler terror romp was at once soft porn and a send-up of soft porn. Talk about commercial!) Scary Movie 2, on the other hand, backtracks into a parody of old-haunted-house flicks, as if anyone cared for two minutes about a dud hit like The Haunting. Among the stray amusing bits is the opening riff on The Exorcist, complete with James Woods winking at his offscreen lasciviousness as a randy priest, and the appearance of a very nasty trash-talking parrot. But Scary Movie 2 is so crudely shot that it never begins to summon the style or atmosphere of what it’s satirizing, and the comedy has no momentum, no tingle of dirty glee. The Wayans brothers, at their best, are priceless jesters, but they need to reconnect with the moment.