Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson for Horror.com
The tagline on the original Scary Movie (2000) claimed, "No Mercy. No Shame. No Sequel." Well, obviously, they lied. Here we are in 2003 with Scary Movie 3. As a fan of both horror and comedy, I was nevertheless reluctant to see the first Scary Movie until a trusted friend recommended it to me. Yeah, it was stupid, but I laughed my arse off anyway. When the second one came around I had my doubts, but was once again pleasantly surprised. (What cat-lover can forget the "Someone help! My pussy's gone crazy!" scene?)
So, is the third time a charm? Not necessarily, without the charm of the original creators, writers, and director -- various brothers Wayans, to be somewhat exact. This time around, David Zucker (of Airplane! fame) sits in the director's chair and while there are plenty of chuckles, Scary Movie 3 feels pretty played out, overall.
Spoofing horror movies The Ring, Signs, and The Others (with a little of 8 Mile and The Matrix incongruously thrown in), Scary Movie 3 follows girl reporter Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), who has a nose for trouble ("Call it women's intuition, or ESPN, or both! I can tell when danger's coming..." she says to her boss in the newsroom, shortly before whacking her head on a microphone hanging from the ceiling), as she follows the creepy clues on a mysterious videotape. The clues lead to crop circles emblazoned on a corn field owned by a widowed farmer (Charlie Sheen) and his wannabe-rapper brother (Simon Rex), which in turn lead to a bunch of cheesy aliens and a plot to overthrow the President of the United States (Leslie Nielsen). The rest of the cast is rounded out by some good comedic actors including Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah, Anthony Anderson, and Regina Hall.
Scary Movie 3 starts off promisingly enough with a spoof that parallels the beginning of The Ring, placing Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy in the roles of the spooked schoolgirls. So far, so good... and then, despite a few chuckles and good sight-gags along the way, Scary Movie 3 never really finds its footing. In fact, it stumbled pretty badly when it tries to connect the dots between so many disparate story lines. There are teeny snippets of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Final Destination tossed into the mix, but the lack of continuity in the horror storylines are ultimately what kills Scary Movie 3.
On their own as little skits the vignettes are funny enough, but as a 90 minute movie they just don't add up. If you liked the first two Scary Movies, leave it at that and save 3 as a DVD rental on coupon night.
Don't forget to check out Staci's coverage of the SM3 premiere.