A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scary Movie 5 is the latest in the increasingly tired series of horror movie spoofs begun in 2000 by the Wayans brothers (and now continued by others). Like the others, it's filled with vulgar, rude humor and relies on slapstick, stereotypes, crude bodily jokes, and sexual innuendo for laughs. It also includes some horror violence, notably a scene of dismemberment (out of Evil Dead) that's filled with blood. There are also meant-to-be comical scenes of parents punching and smacking children (both accidentally and on purpose). Though there's no graphic nudity or sex, innuendo is very strong, and there's plenty of racy stuff. In the opening sequence, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan make a sex tape, there's a lesbian sex scene, and a pool party sequence shows haunted pool vacuum cleaners drinking and doing drugs. Language includes one "f--k" and many uses of "s--t." Some teens may be interested, but otherwise, this series has run out of steam.
What's the story?
Loving couple Jody (Ashley Tisdale) and Dan (Simon Rex) adopt their three nieces, who were missing and finally found in a cabin in the woods; unfortunately, they've also brought along a mysterious entity known as "Mama." Meanwhile, Dan works at a lab experimenting with intelligent apes, and Jody has won the part of the Black Swan in a local ballet production of Swan Lake. Strange things continue happening, and Jody must venture into a cabin in the woods to find the "Book of the Dead" and the magic words to make it all better. But will it be enough to get rid of "Mama" before she destroys the young girls?
Is it any good?
If SCARY MOVIE 5 isn't busy lazily riffing on specific shots from its source movies, it fills in the gaps with the expected bodily fluid jokes, sexual innuendo, and stereotypes. It also throws in several cameos, including Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan in the opening scene. Only Snoop Dogg seems to be relaxed enough to get some laughs in. This is a big waste of time, drawing one more gasp out of a series that should have given up the ghost long ago.
The fifth installment in the Scary Movie franchise has been taken over by Malcolm D. Lee -- Spike's cousin and the director of the very funny Undercover Brother. The writers are David Zucker and Pat Proft, who were responsible for the very funny Naked Gun movies. None of that former humor comes through in this lazy effort, which smacks of a routine attempt to replicate those wonderful old MAD magazine movie spoofs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Scary Movie 5's sexual humor. Who is that type of comedy intended to appeal to? Does it succeed? Is there anything here on that subject that can be taken seriously?
Did you notice any stereotypes in the movie? Were they reinforced or dispelled? Is it ever OK to use stereotypes to get laughs?
What's the appeal of this franchise, which has been going since the year 2000?
- In theaters: April 12, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: August 20, 2013
- Cast: Anna Faris, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall
- Director: David Zucker
- Studio: Dimension
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content throughout, language, some drug material, partial nudity, comic violence and gore
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.