Scary Movie

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Scary Movie
Movie poster for "Scary Movie".jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKeenen Ivory Wayans
Written by
Produced by
  • Eric L. Gold
  • Lee R. Mayes
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byMark Helfrich
Music byDavid Kitay
  • Wayans Bros. Entertainment[1]
  • Gold/Miller Productions[1]
  • Brad Grey Pictures[1]
Distributed byDimension Films[1]
Release date
  • July 7, 2000 (2000-07-07)
Running time
88 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million[3]
Box office$278 million[3]

Scary Movie is a 2000 American slasher parody film directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans and written by Marlon and Shawn Wayans (who both also star), alongside Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Starring Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Carmen Electra, Shannon Elizabeth, Kurt Fuller, Regina Hall, Lochlyn Munro, Cheri Oteri and Dave Sheridan, it follows a group of teenagers who accidentally hit a man with their car, dump his body in a lake and never talk about it again. A year later, someone wearing a Ghostface mask and robe kills them one by one.

The film is a parody of multiple genres including the horror, slasher, and mystery film genres. Several 1990s films and TV shows are also spoofed, and the script primarily follows the plot of slasher films Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). Some films like The Sixth Sense (1999), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Halloween (1978), The Matrix (1999), The Shining (1980) and The Usual Suspects (1995) were also parodied in some scenes.

Dimension Films released Scary Movie in the United States on July 7. The film grossed $278 million worldwide on a $19 million budget.[3] The first installment in the Scary Movie film series, it was followed by four sequels.


18-year-old Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) receives a threatening phone call while home alone. Drew is chased outside by somebody dressed as Ghostface, who stabs her in the breast, removing one of her silicone implants. A vehicle driven by her father, who is distracted by getting a blowjob from his wife, hits her, and she looks up to her murderer just before her throat is slit by the killer.

Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) meets up with her boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams) and her friends, Brenda (Regina Hall), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Greg (Lochlyn Munro) and Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth). Various news teams, including hack reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri), converge on the school in the wake of Drew's murder. Gail hooks up with Buffy's intellectually disabled brother Special Officer Doofy (Dave Sheridan), hoping to milk the facts out of him.

While Cindy is in class, she receives an ominous note and realizes Drew was murdered exactly one year after she and her friends accidentally killed a man. At a beauty pageant that evening, Greg is killed by the killer in plain view while the audience mistakes Buffy's pleas for help as being part of her act of dramatic reading but Buffy wins the pageant, forgetting about Greg.

After Cindy goes home alone, the killer attacks her but retreats when Cindy contacts the police. Bobby arrives and is arrested after a knife and cellphone fall out of his pocket. As Cindy spends the night at Buffy and Doofy's place, she receives a mocking call from the killer.

The following day, Bobby is released from jail. Buffy is beheaded by the killer with a cleaver, though her severed head keeps talking and is subsequently locked in a lost and found bin. That night, Ray and Brenda go to the movie theater to see Shakespeare in Love, where Ray is stabbed through his head in a bathroom stall while using a glory hole. The killer goes after Brenda but angry movie patrons, who are fed up with Brenda's rude and obnoxious behavior, begin stabbing her for that and also for ruining Shakespeare in Love and several other movies like Thelma and Louise, The Fugitive, Schindler's List, the Jackie Chan movies, Boogie Nights, and Big Momma's House.

Cindy throws a house party, hoping for safety in numbers. During the party, Bobby and Cindy go upstairs and have sex. Suddenly, the killer appears and stabs Bobby before disappearing. Cindy gets a gun from a drawer and Bobby follows. When Brenda's stoner brother Shorty (Marlon Wayans) comes up from the basement, Bobby takes the gun and shoots him. Ray arrives on the scene, still alive.

Bobby and Ray confront Cindy in the kitchen and announce their intention to kill her and her father (Rick Ducommun), and that they are merely copying a real killer. Bobby admits being gay, while Ray denies being so. The plan backfires when Ray viciously stabs Bobby numerous times, angry because his favorite show, The Wayans Bros., has been canceled. The killer abruptly arrives and stabs Ray. He and Cindy fight, with Cindy employing moves copied from The Matrix and kicking him out a window. However, the killer vanishes before the police arrive.

At the police station, Cindy and the sheriff (Kurt Fuller) discover that the killer was not David Keegan, the man whom Cindy and her friends accidentally killed a year earlier and realize that Doofy is the killer the whole time and was faking his disability. Doofy has already escaped with Gail Hailstorm after removing his disguise. Upon finding his discarded backpack with his Ghostface mask and sharp knife in the street, Cindy begins screaming but is hit by a car, as the sheriff walks away.

In a mid-credits scene, Shorty is presumably giving advice on how to survive a horror movie but it is actually advice on how to successfully enact a Snatch-and-Run.

In a post-credits scene, Doofy is shown in his bedroom "breaking up" with the vacuum cleaner as though it were a real person with whom he had a relationship.



Much of the humor of Scary Movie relies upon specific references to other contemporary films. Roger Ebert remarked in his review that "to get your money's worth, you need to be familiar with the various teenage horror franchises."[4] The two films on which the script is most heavily based are Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) (both written by Kevin Williamson), utilizing the general narrative arcs of both films, and featuring comedic recreations of key scenes.[5] The backstory in which the teenagers are responsible for accidentally killing a man following a beauty pageant recalls the same plot point in I Know What You Did Last Summer.[4] Major references to Scream include the identity of Ghostface and the murder of Drew Decker in the opening scene, a reference to the opening scene of Scream in which the same thing occurs to the character of Casey Becker, played by Drew Barrymore. Additionally, the characters of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer are heavily mirrored in the film, and the title Scary Movie was originally the working title for the project that would eventually become Scream.[5]

Many scenes and jokes parody or reference other films outside the horror film genre. The fight between Cindy and the killer heavily mimics The Matrix, particularly its use of bullet time.[4] The final scene, in which Doofy stops feigning his disability and drives away with Gail, is a takeoff of the final scene of The Usual Suspects.[6] When asked about her favorite horror movie, Drew answers "Kazaam" due to Shaquille O'Neal's acting.[4] Cindy becomes aggressive and roars "Say my name!" during sex with Bobby, similar to the sex scene between Michelle and Jim in American Pie.[6] The movie theater scene shows a screening of Shakespeare In Love and a trailer for a fictitious sequel to Amistad titled Amistad II with elements of Titanic also appears in the movie theater scene.[7]

The film also makes other pop culture references beyond the scope of film, such as the parodied version of Sarah Michelle Gellar's character Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer being named Buffy, which is a reference to her character in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Others include a brief reference to Dawson's Creek, Candid Camera, and a parody of the Whassup? ad campaign by Budweiser.[8]

The tagline for the movie's poster was "No Shame. No Mercy. No Sequel." When Scary Movie 2 was released a year later, the tagline for the sequel was "We Lied."

Films parodied[edit]

  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997):[5] Main parody
  • Scream (1996):[5] Main parody
  • Thinner (1996)
  • Scream 2 (1997):[5] Brenda's death parodies Maureen Evans' in the opening theater scene, and Cindy's chase scene references CiCi Cooper throwing a bicycle down the stairs, as well as the killer falling over a chair from Sidney Prescott's chase scene.
  • The Sixth Sense (1999):[5] Character of Shorty references "I see dead people."
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999):[5] Gail Hailstorm references famous "I'm so scared" scene.
  • Halloween (1978): The scene in which Cindy spots the killer outside her classroom window is a direct parody to the scene from "Halloween" in which Laurie Strode first spots Michael Myers outside her classroom window.
  • The Shining (1980):[5] Killer says "Redrum".
  • The Matrix (1999):[5] Climax references several fight scenes.
  • The Usual Suspects (1995):[5] Ending parodies the twist ending.
  • Psycho (1960):[5] Bobby references with the Norman Bates from the movie psycho when he says “we all go a little crazy sometimes”.
  • Scream 3 (2000): Post video of Shorty giving advice what to do in a sequel.


The screenplay was developed by Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans with Buddy Johnson and Phil Beauman, writers for the sitcom The Wayans Bros. At the same time, Miramax was developing a spoof of Scream scripted by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Due to a WGA decision, all six writers were credited, despite Friedberg and Seltzer not actually working on the filmed script.[9]


Scary Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJuly 4, 2000
GenreHip hop, alternative rock
Professional ratings
Review scores

The soundtrack to Scary Movie was released on July 4, 2000 through TVT Records and consists of a blend of hip hop and rock music.

Track listing
  1. "Too Cool for School"- 2:27 (Fountains of Wayne)
  2. "The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope"- 3:53 (Bloodhound Gang)
  3. "Stay"- 3:56 (Radford)
  4. "The Only Way to Be"- 3:20 (Save Ferris)
  5. "My Bad"- 3:22 (Oleander)
  6. "Punk Song #2"- 2:46 (Silverchair)
  7. "Everybody Wants You"- 4:11 (Unband)
  8. "Superfly"- 2:55 (Bender)
  9. "I Wanna Be Sedated"- 2:31 (The Ramones)
  10. "Scary Movies"- 3:56 (Bad Meets Evil)
  11. "All bout U"- 4:34 (Tupac Shakur, Top Dogg, Yaki Kadafi, Hussein Fatal, Nate Dogg & Dru Down)
  12. "I Want Cha"- 4:37 (Black Eyed Peas)
  13. "What What"- 5:03 (Public Enemy)
  14. "Feel Me"- 3:49 (Rah Digga, Rampage & Rock)
  15. "I'm the Killer"- 3:57 (Lifelong & Incident)


Box office[edit]

Scary Movie opened theatrically in the United States on July 7, 2000 on 1,912 screens, and debuted at number one at the box office, earning $42,346,669 its opening weekend.[3] The film ultimately grossed $157,019,771 domestically, and earned another $121,000,000 in other markets, making it a massive commercial success.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Scary Movie received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 52% based on 116 reviews and an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Critics say Scary Movie overloads on crudity and grossness to get its laughs."[11] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[13]

Joe Leydon of Entertainment Weekly said that the film was "unbounded by taste, inhibition or political correctness" and that "the outer limits of R-rated respectability are stretched, if not shredded".[6] By contrast, Roger Ebert did not find the film as innovative, saying that the film lacked "the shocking impact of Airplane!, which had the advantage of breaking new ground."[4] However, Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, saying it "delivers the goods", calling the film a "raucous, satirical attack on slasher movies."[4]

Bob Longino of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution felt that the film's crude humor detracted from the film, saying that Scary Movie "dives so deep into tasteless humor that it's a wonder it landed an R rating instead of an NC-17."[14] Other reviewers, such as A.O. Scott of The New York Times, argued that the jokes were "annoying less for their vulgarity than for their tiredness." Scott remarked in his review, "Couch-bound pot smokers, prison sex, mannish female gym teachers, those Whassssup Budweiser commercials—hasn't it all been done to death?"[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Scary Movie". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Scary Movie (18)". British Board of Film Classification. August 3, 2000. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Scary Movie (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ebert, Roger (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Raymond, Adam K. (April 15, 2013). "Every Movie 'Spoofed' in the Scary Movie Franchise". Vulture. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Schwarzbaum, Lisa (July 21, 2000). "Scary Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Scott, A. O. (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". The New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Leydon, Joe (June 29, 2000). "Scary Movie". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  9. ^ "Shawn + Marlon Wayans".
  10. ^ Scary Movie at AllMusic
  11. ^ "Scary Movie (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Scary Movie Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "CinemaScore".
  14. ^ Longino, Bob. "Scary Movie". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2011.

External links[edit]