Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Sarah Hyland in a scene from Scary Movie 5. Dimension Films / The Weinstein Co / Peter Iovino / AP Photo
Sarah Hyland in a scene from Scary Movie 5. Dimension Films / The Weinstein Co / Peter Iovino / AP Photo

Film review: Scary Movie 5

Seven years later, the franchise has risen from the grave and it's as mouldy and mindless as a zombie.

Scary Movie 5


Director: Malcolm D Lee

Starring: Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, Lindsay Lohan

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The Scary Movie franchise has risen from the grave after a seven-year interment and it is as mouldy, mindless and rank-smelling as a zombie. Those shuffling revenants want to eat your brains and so, too, it feels like, does Scary Movie 5. But only after inveigling some hard-earned cash from your pocket, of course.

Although it doesnít depart very far from the formula established by its predecessors, some things have changed. Most notably, the series regular Anna Faris decided not to return this time, which could be one of the smartest career decisions she ever makes. In her place is the High School Musical alumna Ashley Tisdale, who gamely does what she can as a wife reluctantly saddled with three children, who are rescued from the wild after being kidnapped, and bedevilled by the ghost that haunts them, in a tedious, extended riff on the recent Jessica Chastain horror flick, Mama.

Sadly for Tisdale and fans of the franchise, Scary Movie 5 is a vivid illustration of the law of diminishing returns. The jokes are flat, the star cameos perfunctory and unimaginative and the plotting barely functional. Nods to Inception, Black Swan and Rise of the Planet of the Apes are behind the curve. On the other hand, a mildly amusing send-up of the gory excesses of the
recent remake of The Evil Dead couldnít be more current.

The filmís humour rarely rises above the juvenile. But it isnít just the witlessness that makes Scary Movie 5 so hard to laugh along with, but the feeling that you, the audience, are being laughed at.

A pre-title sequence featuring Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan spoofing their tabloid images while they make a sex tape, could have had some comic mileage; but their speeded-up Benny Hill-style bedroom antics and self-skewering jokes about car crashes (appropriate in the context of this train-wreck of a movie), sobriety monitors and tracking ankle bracelets just come across as an ugly combination of silliness and smugness.

And it is all downhill from there. Or rather uphill Ė as in struggle Ė because even though it comes in under 90 minutes, the film is still a test of endurance.

Even so, donít be surprised if this isnít the last we have seen of the franchise. But you have been warned: Scary Movie 5 isnít so much entertainment as a mugging. Avoid


twitter Follow us @LifeNationalUAE

Follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National