Scary Movie

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This article is about the spoof horror film. For the genre, see horror film. For the film franchise, see Scary Movie (film series).
Scary Movie
Movie poster for "Scary Movie".jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans
Produced by Eric L. Gold
Lee R. Mayes
Written by Shawn Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Buddy Johnson
Phil Beauman
Jason Friedberg
Aaron Seltzer
Starring Anna Faris
Regina Hall
Shawn Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Jon Abrahams
Carmen Electra
Shannon Elizabeth
Kurt Fuller
Lochlyn Munro
Cheri Oteri
Dave Sheridan
Music by David Kitay
Cinematography Francis Kenny
Edited by Mark Helfrich
Dimension Films
Wayans Bros. Entertainment
Gold/Miller Productions
Brad Grey Pictures
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • July 7, 2000 (2000-07-07)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million
Box office $278 million

Scary Movie is a 2000 American satirical horror comedy film directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film is a dark comedy that heavily parodies the horror, slasher, and mystery genres. Several mid- and late-'90s films and TV shows are spoofed, primarily Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects, The Matrix, The Blair Witch Project, and Dawson's Creek.

The film was originally titled "Last Summer I Screamed Because Halloween Fell on Friday the 13th". The title was changed to Scary Movie in homage to the production title of Scream, which was also released through Dimension Films, and which serves as the primary inspiration for the film.

The film, the first in the Scary Movie film series, was followed by four sequels: Scary Movie 2 (2001), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Scary Movie 4 (2006) and Scary Movie 5 (2013).[1]


An 18-year-old girl named Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) receives a threatening phone call while home alone one night. Drew is chased outside by Ghostface, who stabs her in the breast, removing one of her silicone breast implants. She is hit by a vehicle driven by her father, who was distracted by oral sex by his wife, and is then subsequently murdered by Ghostface.

The next morning, Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) meets up with her boyfriend Bobby Prinze (Jon Abrahams) and her friends, Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall), Ray Wilkins (Shawn Wayans), Greg Phillipe (Lochlyn Munro), and Buffy Gilmore (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 mentally disabled brother Doofy (Dave Sheridan) hoping to milk the facts out of him.

While Cindy is in class, she receives a note reading: "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST HALLOWEEN!". She then realizes that Drew was murdered exactly one year after she and her friends accidentally killed a man (Lloyd Berry) during a wild car ride. That night during a beauty pageant, Greg is killed by Ghostface, with the audience mistaking Buffy's screams as being part of her act. When Buffy realizes she's won the pageant, she almost immediately forgets about Greg's death and celebrates her victory. After Cindy goes home alone, she gets attacked by the killer. After Cindy locks herself in her room and contacts the police, Ghostface disappears. Bobby arrives momentarily after hearing the incident, but a pair of black gloves and a telephone fall out of his pocket, leading Cindy to believe that he was the killer. Bobby is arrested and taken to the police station.

The next morning in the girls locker room at school, Buffy, high on the success of her victory at the pageant, ignores Cindy's warnings about the killer and is murdered by Ghostface. That night, Ray and Brenda go to a showing of Shakespeare In Love, where Ray is stabbed in the ear through a bathroom stall. Ghostface then goes after Brenda. Unfortunately, angry movie patrons, fed up with Brenda's rude behavior during the movie, kill her before Ghostface can.

Meanwhile, Cindy throws a house party, hoping for safety in numbers. During the party, Bobby and Cindy go upstairs and have sex, no longer making Cindy a virgin. Ghostface suddenly appears and stabs Bobby, before disappearing quickly. Cindy gets a gun from a drawer near the entrance, Bobby follows and she tends to his wounds. Brenda's stoner brother Shorty (Marlon Wayans) comes up from the basement and informs them that all of the partygoers have fled the house as Ghostface began murdering some.

Bobby takes the gun and shoots Shorty, revealing that his wound was an elaborate ruse. Ray arrives on the scene, alive; he and Bobby announce their plan to Cindy, that they are going to kill her and her father (Rick Ducommun) (despite the fact that they are not actually the killers). Ray and Bobby also plan to make themselves look like heroes by giving each other stab wounds to indicate they fought back, but the plan backfires when Ray stabs Bobby repeatedly, furious because his favorite show, The Wayans Bros., has been cancelled. Ghostface abruptly arrives and attacks Cindy during a fight of karate after stabbing Ray, but she successfully subdues him by employing moves copied from The Matrix (and by doing a brief Irish jig while levitating) and kicks him through a window. Nonetheless, Ghostface vanishes before the police arrive.

At the police station, Cindy and the local sheriff (Kurt Fuller) realize that Doofy, the only one who knew about the car accident, was actually faking his disability and is the true killer. Unfortunately, Doofy has already escaped with Gail Hailstorm. Upon finding his discarded disguise in the street, Cindy begins screaming, but is soon hit by a car.

In a post-credits scene, Shorty appears and breaks the fourth wall by giving tips on how to survive this sort of "situation". They appear to be on how to survive in a horror movie, but turn out to be tips on how to successfully enact a snatch n run.



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."[2] The backstory of the film's plot is modeled after I Know What You Did Last Summer including the teens' accidental murder of an innocent man on a car ride and Barry's murder onstage.[2] Several elements are borrowed from the Scream franchise[2] including the character Ghostface and the murder of Drew in the opening scene, which was modeled from the first film, the attack in the movie theatre from Scream 2, and the "rules of a trilogy" video from Scream 3. While smoking marijuana, Shorty quips "I see dead people", the line famously spoken by Oscar nominee Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.[3] In a chase scene, the film shifts its point of view to that of a hand-held camera with the characters speaking directly to the audience as in The Blair Witch Project.[3] The scene in which Ray is about to stab Bobby to make the police believe they were the victims of the killer borrows heavily from a similar scene that takes place during the climax of Scream. The killer says the words "Red Rum", a reference to The Shining, before he kills Buffy. The line "We all go a little crazy sometimes" is also used, which is taken from Scream quoting Psycho.

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.[2] 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.[3] When asked about her favorite horror movie, Drew answers "Kazaam" due to Shaquille O'Neal's acting.[2] Cindy becomes aggressive and roars "Say my name!" during sex with Bobby, similar to the sex scene between Michelle and Jim in American Pie.[3] A trailer for a fictitious sequel to Amistad titled Amistad II with elements of Titanic appears in the movie theater scene.[4]

The film also makes other pop culture references beyond the scope of film, including a brief send-up of Dawson's Creek[5] and a parody of the Whassup? ad campaign by Budweiser.[5] Drew (Carmen Electra)'s boyfriend at the beginning of the movie, the one she "slept with but didn't date" was Prince, who Electra dated in real life.

Subjects parodied or referenced
I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3
The Sixth Sense
The Blair Witch Project
The Exorcist
The Shining
Shakespeare in Love
Thelma & Louise
American Pie
The Matrix
The Fugitive
Big Momma's House
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The Usual Suspects
Schindler's List
Boogie Nights
The Wayans Bros.
Dawson's Creek
Jackie Chan filmography


In British Columbia, the film Scary Movie was given an 18A rating by the provincial FCO, but was re-rated on appeal by the Motion Picture and Liquor Appeal Board to a 14A. This resulted in a record number of complaints to the British Columbia Film Classification Office from parents who felt the film should have been rated 18A. Many parents wrote letters to their local newspaper warning others that the film may be inappropriate for their fourteen-year-olds. Theatre owners complained about the inappropriate rating as well.[6]

Reception [edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, 54% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 112 reviews.[7]

Joe Leydon of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a positive review, remarking 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" by the movie.[3] 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."[2] However, Ebert did give the film 3 stars out of 4, saying it "delivers the goods", calling the film a "raucous, satirical attack on slasher movies."

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."[8] 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."[4] 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?".[4]


Scary Movie
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released July 4, 2000
Recorded 1999-2000
Genre Hip hop, Alternative rock
Length 55:15
Label TVT
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[9]

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 (Sequel)"- 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)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ebert, Roger (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Schwarzbaum, Lisa (July 21, 2000). "Scary Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  4. ^ a b c Scott, A. O. Tomatoes "Scary Movie" Check |url= value (help). New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  5. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (June 29, 2000). "Scary Movie". Variety. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  6. ^ Pelton, Steven (2004-08-19). "RECONSIDERATION DECISION: GOING THE DISTANCE requested by Odeon Films" (PDF). British Columbia Film Classification Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  7. ^ Scary Movie at Rotten TomatoesFlixster
  8. ^ Longino, Bob. "Scary Movie". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  9. ^ Scary Movie at AllMusic

External links[edit]