Scary Movie

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Scary Movie
Movie poster for "Scary Movie".jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKeenen Ivory Wayans
Produced by
  • Eric L. Gold
  • Lee R. Mayes
Written by
Music byDavid Kitay
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byMark Helfrich
  • Wayans Bros. Entertainment[1]
  • Gold/Miller Productions[2]
  • Brad Grey Pictures[3]
Distributed byDimension Films[4]
Release date
  • July 7, 2000 (2000-07-07)
Running time
88 minutes[5]
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million
Box office$278 million[6]

Scary Movie is a 2000 American horror comedy film directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film is a parody of the horror, slasher, and mystery film genres. Several mid- and late-'90s films and TV shows are spoofed, and the script is primarily based on the '90s hit horror films Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).

The first in the Scary Movie film series, it was followed by four sequels: Scary Movie 2 (2001), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Scary Movie 4 (2006), and Scary Movie 5 (2013).[7]

Despite generally mixed reviews from critics, the film received positive reviews from audiences, and the film was a box office success, grossing $278 million worldwide from a $19 million budget.[6]


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 (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 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 during a wild car ride. At a beauty pageant that evening, Greg is killed by Ghostface in plain view, with the audience mistaking Buffy's screams and pleas for help 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 is attacked by Ghostface. Cindy locks herself in her room and contacts the police, while Ghostface disappears. Bobby arrives momentarily after hearing the incident, but a knife, 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. Afterwards, Cindy heads to Buffy and Doofy's place and spends the night with them. When there, she receives a call from Ghostface, mocking her.

The following day, Bobby is released from jail. Meanwhile, Buffy, high on the success of her victory at the pageant, ignores Cindy's warnings about the killer and is beheaded by Ghostface with a cleaver, though her severed head still remains alive and keeps talking. Ghostface, visibly annoyed, dumps Buffy's head into a Lost and Found bin. That night, Ray and Brenda go to a showing of Shakespeare In Love, where Ray is stabbed in the ear through a wall in 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. Suddenly, Ghostface appears and apparently 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. Bobby takes the gun and shoots Shorty, revealing that his wound was an elaborate ruse. Ray arrives on the scene, still alive.

Bobby and Ray confront Cindy in the kitchen and announce their plan that they are going to kill her and her father (Rick Ducommun), despite the fact that they are not actually the killers and that they are copycatting a real killer who already exists. They also plan to make themselves look like heroes by giving each other stab wounds to indicate they fought back. However, the plan backfires when Ray stabs Bobby repeatedly, angry because his favorite show, The Wayans Bros., has been cancelled. Ghostface abruptly arrives and stabs Ray. He and Cindy then fight each other, but Cindy successfully subdues him by employing moves copied from The Matrix and kicks him through a window. However, Ghostface vanishes before the police arrive.

At the police station, Cindy and the sheriff (Kurt Fuller) realize that Doofy, the only person who knew about the car accident, was faking his disability and is the killer. However, 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 in a horror movie, but turn out to be tips on how to successfully enact a "snatch 'n' run".



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.

Basis and humor[edit]

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."[8] The two films on which the script is most heavily based are Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), utilizing the general narrative arcs of both films, and featuring comedic recreations of key scenes.[9] The backstory in which the teenagers were responsible for killing a man is entirely based on I Know What You Did Last Summer including the teens' accidental murder of an innocent man on a car ride and the murder scene at the beauty pageant.[8] Major references to Scream include the character Ghostface and the murder of Drew Decker in the opening scene (a reference to Drew Barrymore, who played a similar character in Scream).

Additionally, the characters of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer are heavily mirrored in the film.[9] Cindy Campbell is a play on the character of Sidney Prescott (portrayed by Neve Campbell) in Scream, as is Gail Hailstorm's character, which resembles that of Gale Weathers, and Doofy Gilmore, of Deputy Dewey Riley. Buffy Gilmore is a play on the character of Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer, portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, and her name is a reference to Gellar's role as Buffy Summers in the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Greg Phillipe is referential to Ryan Phillipe, who plays Gellar's boyfriend in I Know What You Did Last Summer; likewise, Bobby Prinze is in reference to Freddie Prinze Jr., who also starred opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt in the film. Cindy makes direct reference to this, saying that "Jennifer Love Huge-tits" would most likely be chosen to play her in a film.[10]

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.[8] 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.[11] When asked about her favorite horror movie, Drew answers "Kazaam" due to Shaquille O'Neal's acting.[8] Cindy becomes aggressive and roars "Say my name!" during sex with Bobby, similar to the sex scene between Michelle and Jim in American Pie.[11] A trailer for a fictitious sequel to Amistad titled Amistad II with elements of Titanic also appears in the movie theater scene.[12]

The film also makes other pop culture references beyond the scope of film, including a brief reference to Dawson's Creek[13] and a parody of the Whassup? ad campaign by Budweiser.[13]

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."

Main films parodied[edit]


Scary Movie opened theatrically in the United States on July 7, 2000 on 2,912 screens,[14] and debuted at number one at the box office, earning $42,346,669 its opening weekend.[14] The film ultimately grossed $157,019,771 domestically, and earned another $121,000,000 in foreign markets, making it a massive commercial success.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Scary Movie received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 53% based on 113 reviews with 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."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[17]

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.[11] 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."[8] 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."[18] 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."[12] 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?".[12]


Scary Movie
Soundtrack album by Various artists
ReleasedJuly 4, 2000
GenreHip hop, Alternative rock
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[19]

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. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Scary Movie (18)". British Board of Film Classification. August 3, 2000. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Scary Movie (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Scary Movie 5 , Cogan's Trade and Butter Get New Dates -". February 16, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ebert, Roger (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Raymond, Adam K. (April 15, 2013). "Every Movie 'Spoofed' in the Scary Movie Franchise". Vulture. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  10. ^ Scary Movie (2000). Dimension Home Video [DVD]
  11. ^ a b c Schwarzbaum, Lisa (July 21, 2000). "Scary Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  12. ^ a b c Scott, A. O. (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  13. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (June 29, 2000). "Scary Movie". Variety. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  14. ^ a b c "Scary Movie (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  15. ^ "Scary Movie (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Scary Movie Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "CinemaScore".
  18. ^ Longino, Bob. "Scary Movie". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  19. ^ Scary Movie at AllMusic

External links[edit]