Scary Movie 4 [Blu-Ray]

By Clint Morris

Take the blade from the base of the lawnmower, sharpen it with EZ Grip, taking a run-up, and then perforate me smack-bang on the spine with it. Now press. Hard. Harder. Wait for the drips of blood. You know what? I tell ya, that’s a lot easier to bear than the truly-punishing ”Scary Movie 4”.

Before we take a baseball bat to David Zucker’s headlights though, it must be pointed out that, if anything, the ”Scary Movie” franchise has been very loyal to the film that served as it’s original mickey-ing inspiration, ”Scream”….if only because they’ve got worse with each sequel!!

Now, hammer please.

The first ”Scary Movie”, directed by the Wayans’ brothers, was hilarious – a straight-up R-rated adult comedy that stuck it to the horror genre and then some. Their sequel, though far less inspired, was still quite a rib-tickle at times (especially Chris Elliot’s scenes as a wart-infested butler) too. The last effort though, the Wayans-less’ ”Scary Movie 3”, was about as exciting as being in charge of a mass mail-out campaign (Those stamps were probably tastier, in fact).

Unfortunately, David Zucker – the dude use to be good, heck, he invented the spoof movie! ”Flying High” anyone?! – the chap who took a chisel to the humour of ”Scary Movie 3”, is again at the reigns of the just-as-tired Scary Movie 4. Once again, he proves he’s a better set-dresser these says than he is a master of comedies, with the film’s main moments essentially all look – he’s brilliant at recreating the sets from most of the movies he spoofs – and little to no laugh. If Lorne Michaels (of the always very so-so ”Saturday Night Live” sketch comedy series) was listed as executive producer, we would expecting nothing less than a bunch of half-arsed jokes and mildly amusing sequences that run far too long – but this is Zucker, and we know he’s capable of more.

At least, I suppose, this one seems to flow a bit better than the last sequel – well, a smidge better anyway. Largely spoofing ”War of the Worlds” and ”The Grudge”, it’s storyline – god, I feel dirty even calling it a storyline – seems to have a start, middle and end this time, in contrast to the last sequel, which was essentially just a series of unconnected spoof sequences stapled together. To a large part, the film still is that, but this time – it’s got direction. No, not direction as in ‘fab work Zucker’, but it’s got a path to follow. Scratching the bottom of the barrel for compliments though, as you can see.

Thankfully, at least for the lads, series regular Anna Faris is back – and really, she doesn’t need to be with such better offers on the table these days – as the film’s maladroit heroine, Cindy Campbell. As spunky as she’s silly, Faris might be the only good ingredient in any of the recent sequels. Still, even she must recognize that the series has turned into the cinematic equivalent of a flat bicycle tire – it starts off with lots of air in it, but can quickly go flat when punctured.

Blu-Ray Details and Extras

Transfer-wise, it’s good, but it has kind of a ‘harsh’ look – the colours just don’t look real. Flesh-tones, in particular, look artificial. Better is the PCM 5.1 surround audio track (at 48kHz/16-bit/4.6mbps).

Typical of the ”Scary” DVDs, the extras on here are better than the film itself. There’s a very amusing commentary from the creators, several featurettes (including a funny interview with the chaps behind the film, including David Zucker), deleted scenes, some bloopers, and more. If they put half as much effort into the film, as they had the extras component of the DVD, it might have been worth picking up.