I'll admit it, I laughed on more than a few occasions while watching the first 'Scary Movie.' I might even go so far as to say that a good chunk of it was clever, biting satire. Not all of it mind you, but a good majority of that movie was funny and resonated with just about anyone who'd ever seen a horror movie.
Then came the sequels, and it all went downhill from there.
'Scary Movie 4' has finally found its way to Blu-ray, and it's just as unfunny and loathsome as I remember it. This time the horror spoof franchise spends most of its time lampooning Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds,' 'Saw,' and 'The Grudge.' Most of the gags created for the movie are so time specific that it's hard to remember or even care about their cultural significance (although the Charlie Sheen scene has all new significance now). Even Leslie Nielsen as the President of the United States spoofing George Bush's story time with kids when he found out about the 9/11 attacks is dreadfully unfunny and dated.
Cindy (Anna Faris) is back yet again, this time she's taking on a haunted house where a strange kid with black eyeliner appears and makes cat noises. Next door to her lives Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko) who is supposed to be Tom Cruise's deadbeat dad character from 'War of the Worlds.'
Aliens soon pop up from underground, disguised as old-school iPods and start destroying the planet. One of the movie's only funny moments is a gag where Tom is trying to let his friend into the car, but his friend keeps pulling up on the door handle right when Tom hits power locks. It's mildly funny because we've all been in that exact situation. It's a timeless joke that we can all relate to. Other than that you're looking at gag after gag of middle-of-the-road movies that were forgotten the year 'Scary Movie 4' came out. 'Brokeback Mountain' jokes weren't funny back then, and they're most certainly not enjoyable now.
Something that really bothered me about 'Scary Movie 4' is its overt hatred of children. Yes, I know it's a spoof movie, so nothing should be taken seriously, but kids get a real bad rap in this one. After around the fifth or sixth time Tom's daughter gets punched, kicked, or struck by lightning I found myself thinking that this movie is really mean-spirited. How many people really laugh when children are punched and kicked by adults? Is that something that, even when presented in a satirical manner, is actually funny? I don't think so.
Speaking of unfunny, 'Scary Movie 4' runs the gamut of excrement jokes. To the point that you'll find yourself wondering if a 10 year-old with a poop fetish wrote the script.
'Scary Movie 4' is all around sad and depressing. There isn't even a handful of laughs to be had here. The only solace that can be taken from this movie is knowing that it wasn't Leslie Nielsen's last film.
'Scary Movie 4' is brought to Blu-ray featuring a 1080p picture with an MPEG-2 encode. The movie looks great on Blu-ray.
Detail is top-notch. I found that the 'Saw'-like bathroom at the beginning maybe had too much detail. That place is disgusting. Colors are also strong and vibrant from the poo-poo browns of Jigsaw's rusted up bathroom horror trap, to the dark brown and blackish woods of the 'Grudge' house. The tripod alien attack ships are terribly green-screened and it's made even more noticeable in HD. Especially when a CG tentacle whips down and wraps around someone. It looks like the hokey effects they use on SyFy original movies. It's to be expected though, because the 'Scary Movie' films don't have huge budgets. Blacks are nice and deep with delineation and shadow detail filling out rather nicely.
I was pleased with the presentation on this Blu-ray even though it's using the increasingly unused MPEG-2 encode.
'Scary Movie 4' features a LPCM 5.1 audio mix. It's a fairly lively mix with surrounds pumping out some action-oriented ambience when the tripods attack and people start screaming. LFE is also a constant force here as the tripods stomp around destroying everything in their path. Dialogue is reproduced well without any hard-to-hear lines. Pans work smoothly during the more intense action scenes. Directionality also works well whenever you hear the cat kid meow from a far off distance. Even though there's no hope for the movie, you'll be pleased to hear that if you suffer through it you'll be treated to a very nice audio experience along the way.
'Scary Movie 4' is, like 2 and 3, completely unwatchable. Why they keep making these movies is a mystery. This one is unfunny and extremely dated. A couple laugh out loud moments, and that's it. The rest of the movie is dreadful. The video and audio are nice, which is a plus, and there's a good helping of extras for fans. Give this one a rental if you're glutton for punishment.