‘Scary Movie 5’ gets 1/2 star for being racist, sexist and insultingly not funny

Cristina Lule

The fifth film in the “Scary Movie” franchise appears to be running out of horror films to parody. It presents a rehash of barely-deemed thrillers and pop-culture references that offer more insults than laughs.

The first “Scary Movie” was released in 2000 and spoofed several 90’s horror films including “Scream,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “The Blair Witch Project.”

The most recent film attempts to spoof recently released horror films including “Paranormal Activity,” “Mama” and “Evil Dead” but also included non-horror films such as “Planet of the Apes,” “Black Swan,” “Inception” and even borrows material from the horrifically written “Fifty Shades of Grey” book.

Dan and Jody (Simon Rex and Ashley Tisdale) are a married couple who become the guardians of three children after the death of their father and Dan’s brother – played by Charlie Sheen.

When they bring the kids home, the family begins to experience unusual phenomenon and looks for answers by setting up a surveillance system and calling a psychic to investigate.

The film fails to reinvent its borrowed premises into anything entertaining or remotely humorous. It relies on silent-era slapstick where characters take blunt forces to the head or groin. Watching Rex’s character get hit with household appliances is not funny the first time and certainly not the tenth time either.

There was the occasional surprise cameo that kept us engaged, but watching a famous R&B singer audition for Swan Lake wasn’t as amusing as intended. The genuinely funny moments were during the bloopers where the actor’s laughed at their ridiculous lines or a production faux pas.

There was little effort that went into constructing a cohesive narrative. The film’s dyslexic story line made for rough transitions from scene to scene. It was also poorly edited with as many image and sound synchronization issues as there were sex tapes in Sheen’s bedroom.

However, the film was scary, if not disturbing, in how it managed to reduce race and gender down to its most basic and crude stereotypes. The previous “Scary Movie” films never shied away from employing racism, sexism and any kind of “ism” as a gag, and the fifth film retains the same objective.

The family’s housemaid is depicted as a vacuum-hugging immigrant, and African American characters are sadly typecast as strippers and thieves.

The film also focused on the public’s fascination with reality TV with references to “The Real Housewives” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The camera’s that documented the family’s activity also depicted the trending epidemic of documenting personal affairs. The film is no exception.

Sheen and costar Lindsay Lohan permitted the filmmakers to depict them as the sensationalized images we see in tabloids for no other reason than to capitalize on their celebrity and feed us what they believe we want to see.

And just like a tabloid, “Scary Movie 5” is cheap, distasteful and filled with actors who have continually failed to prove they merit the title.

Rating ½ star