Review: Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Directed by: David Zucker | 90 minutes of horror, comedy | Actors: Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Marny Eng, Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, Jianna Ballard, Jeremy Piven, Anna Faris, Timothy Stack, Regina Hall, Darrell Hammond, Drew Mikuska, Camryn Manheim, Elaine Klimaszewski, Diane Klimaszewski, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Edward Moss, Leslie Nielsen, Ja Rule, George Carlin, Master P, Macy Gray, Method Man, Raekwon, RZA, U-God, Redman, Naomi Lawson-Baird, Denise Richards, Simon Cowell

Those with a refined taste will run away screaming at ‘Scary Movie 3’ and that’s not because the film does justice to its title. There’s nothing scary about the ‘Scary Movie’ series. The director’s name should ring a bell: David Zucker hasn’t made a serious film in his career, and ‘Scary Movie 3’ is no exception in the parodies list. The film is less successful than ‘Airplane’ and ‘The Naked Gun’, but it is not a complete failure in the film maker’s list of achievements.

‘Scary Movie 3’ is a lot easier to digest than ‘Scary Movie 2’, which was written and directed by the Wayans just like the first part (the best). This has to do with the fact that the focus here is more on humorous scenes than on vulgarity. Zucker even gives way to subtle jokes every now and then, which is a relief.

‘Scary Movie’ once started as a spoof on ‘Scream’, but in the second part they ridiculed all kinds of genres, from ‘Charlie’s Angels’ to ‘Titanic’. ‘Scary Movie 3’ focuses much more on the horror genre, taking M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Signs’ and J-horror film ‘The Ring’ as a starting point. The major storylines of these two films are brought together into one story, with the plot from ‘8 Mile’ added as a third plotline. Far-fetched and contrived, of course, but it does give the film a certain degree of coherence, more than, say, later parodies like ‘Meet the Spartans’ or ‘Epic Movie’, which were just a sequence of scenes.

Anna Faris is back as TV reporter Cindy Campbell. She raises her nephew, has to deal with a mysterious video tape, which after seven days makes victims among its viewers. Meanwhile, she unravels a mystery surrounding the farm of Tom Logan (Charlie Sheen), on whose land mysterious grain drawings appear (no circles, but “attack here”). Unfortunately, Sheen’s comedic talent isn’t fully exploited here, as his role is overshadowed by the much less fun story surrounding his brother, wannabe rapper George (Simon Rex) in a spoof on the Eminem vehicle ‘8 Mile’ ( the third most important film to be parodied).

Zucker mixes all kinds of references in a cocktail that does not miss its effect: from American Idol-like scenes to priests accused of sexual intimidation. Michael Jackson also cannot escape a parody. Much of the humor comes from the glee side: Cindy’s nephew Cody often suffers, in attempts to protect him, the opposite often happens. Because the joke density is so high, you’re bound to burst out laughing, even if you don’t like more than half of the jokes. ‘Scary Movie 3’ is a big leap forward compared to the second part and fans of the genre will have a great time with this comedy.

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