The first Scary Movie was a delightful send-up of late 90s culture and its subsequent films. Naturally, this became a huge box office draw. When you have wheel barrels full of cash piling up in front of you, it can be hard to not want to replicate that success, even if you have sworn off sequels. Even though its poster famously promised no sequels, the creators thankfully went back on their promise, in Scary Movie 2.
Cindy and the gang have made it into college. Surviving the horrible massacre of the first film, but are finding college life hectic. They get enrolled into a class that is supposedly for a sleep study experiment; Guaranteeing them automatic As if they can spend the weekend at the notorious Hell House, Kane Manor. This class is just a scheme to raise the dead by trapping traumatic survivors in the house. A reportedly sure-fire way to resurrect the spirits of the manor’s owners. As the gang are getting ready for a weekend they’ll never forget, audiences are in for a weekend of horror and hilarity.
Starting with a scatological infused takedown of The Exorcist, one that manages to set the tone for the proceeding hour and 15 minutes rather well. If you also want to see recognisable names debase themselves in front of supernatural horror, you’re in luck. Andy Richter, James Woods to Chris Elliot and David Cross are just some comedic stars of Scary Movie 2. Seeing the latter’s bickering is especially delightful. But it’s the master himself, Tim Curry, who portrays a more subdued villain, while rarely engaging in the scene-chewing excellence he is renowned for. Also, it is worth noting practically everybody from Scary Movie is back, surviving the dramatic events of the first film with nary a comment. It is a fun idea, that doesn’t get too bogged down into the previous film’s lore, allowing Scary Movie 2 to carry on with its characters.
Scary Movie 2’s plot points that do evoke fond memories of The Haunted Mansion and The Haunting, but less so in the direct comparative style that Scary Movie did for Scream. Although, much like the first, Scary Movie doesn’t just limit itself to just horror films. Parodies include such targets as Charlie’s Angel’s then-recent reintroduction to the cinema screen and a good amount of Titanic for good measure. A lot of vulgar crass-out humour is also plentiful (as was the style of the time), but doesn’t reach the same levels as the other Movie films, made by a certain duo whose films I’ve covered before. Pot-smoking and copious coupling with demons and ghosts feel a little more indicative of the changing tide in parody films.
Without the strong guiding force of Scream or I Know What You Did, to provide frameworks, Scary Movie 2 is a looser, more stream-of-conscious takedown. Kane Manor is a host to a wider variety of horror, with the inclusion of blunt jokes, in both subject matter and subject matter. If you want to see beloved comedy stars get silly or the highlights of early 2000s cinema. Scary Movie 2 is host to some lively spirits.
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