Scary Movie

Scary Movie (2000)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Anna Faris
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Deleted Scenes, Featurette, Bonus Trailers, DVD-ROM Material

’Scary Movie’ is a spoof of the recent spate of ’teens stalked by a slasher’ films. Specifically, it skewers ’Scream’ and ’I Know What You Did Last Summer’, as well as many other horror favorites. The film follows a group of teenagers who are being stalked by a masked killer. The six youngsters share a common secret — they accidentally killed a pedestrian (twice) and dumped his body in the water. They’re convinced that the killer is seeking revenge for this act. Upon this basic premise, the comedy from the Wayans Brothers (Keenen Ivory, Shawn, and Marlon) throws endless jokes which spoof not only the films that they are mimicking, but any other target that can be lampooned. Trust me, no subject is safe from the jokes in this film. The humor here is of the ’Airplane!’ variety, but it has been punched-up for the ’South Park’ generation. The term ’gross’ doesn’t even begin to describe some of the gags in this movie. But, there are also some more cerebral jokes here. ’Scary Movie’ is the perfect movie to view on DVD, as each scene is packed with so many jokes, that many of them could be missed upon a casual viewing. Therefore, the ’still’ and ’review’ functions come in very handy while watching this movie.

While ’Scary Movie’ is far from being perfect, the thing that really makes it work is that is so accurately mimics the movies that it is satirizing. As both the ’Scream’ trilogy and ’Scary Movie’ are Dimension Films’ products, the makers of ’Scary Movie’ had full license to re-enact scenes from ’Scream’ shot-for-shot, and throw in their own gags. The opening scene, which puts Drew Barrymore’s death from ’Scream’ in a new light, is a perfect example of this.

’Scary Movie’ arrives on DVD from Buena Vista Home Entertainment in an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, which is good, albeit unspectacular in its look. The image is clear, showing no flaws from the source print or overt noise, but it is also a bit dark in places. The opening scene, in particular, looked rather grainy and hazy. These defects don’t continue throughout the film, but I found them to be very noticeable for the first five minutes or so. The colors and hues on this transfer are acceptable, but once again, not outstanding. The audio on the DVD is a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is a nice use of surround sound, and the audio shows a nice dynamic range, but it doesn’t come close to other recent Disney offerings, such as ’Scream 3’ or even ’The Little Mermaid II’. Strangely, the music that plays during the main menu sounds better than most of the soundtrack to the film.

As featured in the TV commercials for this video release, the DVD offers us six deleted scenes from the film. We also have a five-minute ’making-of’ featurette, which offers some behind the scenes footage and sound-bytes from various members of the cast. The trailer for ’Scary Movie’ is included on the DVD and is presented full-frame. Buena Vista has decided to move the promos for other video releases from the beginning of the DVD, where you had to work around them, to the special features menu.