The “Scary Movie” movies were never great, but they were better than this. The original had a consistent focus: “Scream”. It was pointless because “Scream” was already a parody, but it was focused. This is not focused at all. The two primary parodies are of “Mama” and the Paranormal Activity franchise, but it also spends a lot of time spoofing “Black Swan”, a minor but existing role for a Caesar from the Planet of the Apes movies, and a neverending barrage of individual scenes referencing other individual movies.
I cannot go lower than 3/10, because I did laugh a few times, all of which came when the writers changed up the stale formula of slapstick/gross-out/references. The opening scene with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan does not have very good writing, but it was entertaining enough to see these celebrities make fun of themselves. A few very talented comedians get to go off on their own and end up with some decent humor. Having a fraud paranormal investigator is a good idea for a spoof, and Katt Williams’ energy makes the character work. Ben Cornish is a very good Leonardo DiCaprio impersonator, in appearance and voice. Josh Robert Thompson gives a good turn as the narrator doing a Morgan Freeman impression quite well.
Beyond that, there isn’t much worth caring about that happens in “Scary Movie 5”. The entire film is made of cutaway jokes. These jokes do not relate to the plot, characters, or each other. They just are. The main character will be having a dream, and Honey Boo Boo pops up to say her name, and the dream ends. The scene has no reason to exist, as it fails to progress anything. There is no comedy, either. Nobody wrote a joke saying anything about Honey Boo Boo. I’m just supposed to laugh because it is something I recognize. The cracks in this writing become even more apparent 3 years later, because I don’t recognize many of these things. I know that the child acting like a rabid dog and the shark that kills Mama and the fighting women in the lab and the very long, very unfunny scene in the Cabin in the Woods are supposed to be references to things that were topical a few years ago. In 2016, I cannot remember what they are. Another big problem with over-reliance on cutaway jokes is that their disconnect disrupts the flow of the film. The writing team clearly does not know how to end a scene, because they usually just move on without any payoff for jokes. Slapstick is the biggest crutch of this conflict. When the movie isn’t sure how to shift locations or change from night to day, lead actor Simon Rex will usually get hit in the face with something and the scene will change as if nothing happened. It’s a pile-up of scenes with no pacing, which makes this movie feel kind of long, which should be impossible because it is only 70 minutes long before the credits pad it out to become theatrically suitable. There’s a scene where Rex gets locked in a cage by the ape Caesar, not a terrible joke in itself, but immediately the screen cuts to the house, where Rex is living life normally with his wife. Logic isn’t required to enjoy this, but the film makes no effort to show how he got home. He just did, because somebody thought it was funny.
This film is of an embarrassingly poor quality, under the pretense of being funny, except that the laughs are few and far between. Lots of puking, blood splatters, a live birth that jets a baby out of a body and into a tuba, and a fake Madea and Christian Gray being in the movie for no reason are not funny. I’m not surprised that this was awful, but that in itself does not make the movie less terrible. There is absolutely no reason to ever watch “Scary Movie 5” this late after its release.