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No spoof is left unturned in director and parody-meister David Zucker s SCARY MOVIE 4, the latest installment in the popular horror-cum-humor series. Among several returnees from previous films, Anna Faris reprises her role as Cindy Campbell, the eternally unlucky and hilariously clumsy heroine. In a send-up of 2004 s THE GRUDGE, Campbell is assigned as full-time nurse to a mysterious old lady in a house haunted by the ghost of a small boy. In a takeoff of 2005 s WAR OF THE WORLDS, next door lives Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko), a divorced dock worker somewhat in charge of his two kids, who is called into action as Alien TriPods (remove the "Tr" for a hint at the inspiration for their invention) seek to destroy Earth. The two meet and quickly fall in love. Joined by Cindy s ever-present sidekick, the flirtatious Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall), the protagonists must save the planet from aliens and solve the mystery of the ghostly boy. One of the stops along the way includes a sharp lampooning of THE VILLAGE, complete with appearances from SCARY MOVIE veterans Carmen Electra and Chris Elliot, and other cinematic spoofs, including BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, and SAW. The satirical wit extends beyond the movies, containing personal jabs both self-inflicted (Charlie Sheen, Shaquille O Neal, and Dr. Phil) and not (Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson, and George W. Bush). Ultimately, there is more than enough funniness to sate the SCARY MOVIE or slapstick comedy fan s appetite.Format: DVD MOVIE
The latest instalment of the horror spoof, whose continuing success is as terrifying as any of the movies it claims to parody...Strangely, it is the non-horror film War of the Worlds that provides most of the "inspiration". Otherwise it's the usual giggle-free cameo parade of sports stars, babes and rappers. The Wayans brothers are no longer involved; it's some achievement that a film can make you nostalgic for them.
Minus the closing credit crawl, and an epilogue sending up Tom Cruise's Katie-lovin' wigout on "Oprah," "4" would scarcely nudge 75 minutes. Which is still about 70 minutes longer than it warrants. If Faris and Hall's comic chops are barely exercised here, time is still on their side; one hopes someday they'll get the stellar lead roles they deserve.Still, it must be said that the production package is loud, pacey and colorful enough -- decent CGI FX included -- that a whole lotta not-much goes by with painless speed.
DVD, Rated PG13, No Longer Produced
Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
About five times as funny as Scary Movie 3.
Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
...delivers a barrage of low-minded gags with high-spirited energy.