Scary Movie 2 ★½

Much like Scream 2, the original was a huge success (if only financial) and everyone knew the inevitable sequel had to be bigger, bolder, and even better. In both cases they failed though Scream 2 is a decent follow-up and Scary Movie 2 is not decent. At all, really.

Parody and satire are two forms of comedy that overlap well. Parody to be making fun of a particular film while satire targets an institution or ideal. The first Scream satirized the horror genre and the audience's awareness of formulaic conventions of cinema. Scream 2 to a lesser extent satirized the necessity of sequels while Scream 3 became a parody of itself. Scary Movie 2 attempts neither and, as Scary Movie 1 did with Scream, popularized the trend of referential humour. Do you remember this scene from that movie? Well here it is but dumber, no real punchline or set-up, just try and find the laughter yourself.

The film is slower, looser, and plain meanders through what coherent plot there is. Whereas the adopted structure of Scream gave a natural flowing pace, the new targeted genre of the Old Dark House is so poorly accomplished. The two biggest strengths of films such as The Haunting and the House on Haunted Hill being suspense and atmosphere. Unless a complete absence of those two counts for parody then the writers are left with resorting to arbitrary current pop culture nods from Charlie's Angels to Nike commercials with little to no connective tissue between scenes.

That Nike reference becomes a perfect summary of the Movie franchise from here onward. The riff of The Changeling into the basketball commercial is an almost clever subversion and yet they expect audiences to laugh continuously through every single character performing dribbling and passing until you forget what movie you're even watching. Monotony leads to false expectations of a punchline but there is none bar a character getting hit in the nuts before just moving on with the next scene.

I give the original Scary Movie some credit. It is lazy in just taking Scream's formula almost scene for scene but at least moves with a steady pace and some sense of purpose. These sequels are the equivalent of a YouTube playlist of fan-made parodies of completely unrelated films.