Four teens are tricked by Professor Oldman (Tim Curry) into visiting a haunted house for a school project.Four teens are tricked by Professor Oldman (Tim Curry) into visiting a haunted house for a school project.Four teens are tricked by Professor Oldman (Tim Curry) into visiting a haunted house for a school project.
The story line is actually a little more involved for `Scary Movie 2,' as if you needed a plot to set up the horrendous `laugh scenes,' which are fewer and far between this time. Classic camp actor Tim Curry is Professor Oldman, a college teacher who recruits a group of students to spend the night in a haunted house so he can conduct some sort of experiment (though we never really understand what that experiment is all about). Of course, this group contains most of the kids from the first `Scary Movie,' including innocent Cindy (Anna Faris), loud-mouthed Brenda (Regina Hall), marijuana-obsessed Shorty (Marlon Wayans), and sexually questionable Ray (Shawn Wayans). New this time is straight-arrow Clark (Christopher Masterson). The house is inhabited by the twisted butler Hanson (Chris Elliot) and even a ghost (`Night Court's' Richard Moll). The kids slowly discover the mysteries and secrets of the house, and make every bodily function, sexually oriented, inappropriate joke along the way.
There are those who complain about this style of humor in general, and therefor will not see this movie. However, sometimes it works, such as in the original `Scary Movie,' `American Pie,' and even at the far end of the scale, `There's Something About Mary.' There, the gross out is permissible because there are characters we mildly care about, or there are other types of humor going on as well.
However, `Scary Movie 2' is the prime example of where gross out humor can go wrong. Instead of playing up some of the humorous character stereotypes, or mixing in some creative horror movie parodies with the gross-out humor, `Scary Movie 2' relies solely on it. It seems to me that many scenes in the film were robbed of their comic potential so our seven scriptwriters could fit more vomit, feces, and other unmentionable bodily concoctions into the film.
There are a few laughs that harked back to `Scary Movie,' and those scenes always feature one of the two Wayans brother's characters. Even though they had five other folks working with them, its clear that this is their project. Maybe those other five scriptwriters fought back and added in the gross-out stuff.
As for performances, the same can be said. Both Wayans seem to have more comedic experience than their fellow teen-age counterparts. Faris is better than she was in the first `Scary Movie,' but nowhere near as funny. Plus, she still looks and sounds just a little too odd for me. Curry hasn't had a good role since the mid 80's, and its sad that this is the caliber of film he works in. There are other famous cameos including James Woods as a priest and former Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter as his assistant, but one must wonder what they are doing slumming around in this film. After watching Woods in his worst performance to date, it frightened me to realize that Marlon Brando was originally cast in the role. There would be no saving his career had he gone through with this.
If you have any desire to be thoroughly disgusted, or like your humor from the bottom of the barrel (and I mean bottom!) then check out `Scary Movie 2.' Otherwise, go on living your life with the knowledge than unlike myself, you managed to escape this waste of a sequel.
- Tom Schulz
- Jul 17, 2001