Anchor Bay / 85 Minutes / 2013 / Rated PG-13 / Street Date: August 20,2013
Horror spoofs are almost always split-second quickie affairs, movies cobbled together with such hollow narrative numbness that it’s impossible to take them very seriously. Somehow, though, we deserve them: even though Scary Movie V didn’t exactly burn up the box office earlier this year, between the meta recognizability of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan headlining its cast and its revolving door of groan-inducingly obvious in-jokes about creepy-crawly flicks of the past year or two, the film ended up making a sizable profit.
And with the phenomenal success of The Conjuring in cinemas this summer, we must brace ourselves for another installment of the Scary Movie franchise coming sometime soon. None of the Scary Movies have been all-out excellent comedy affairs (none have come close to the kind of loony, stupid fun of Airplane! or Spaceballs), but it almost doesn’t matter – the horror community has resigned itself to the fact that dingbat comedies like Scary Movie V are inevitabilities within the horror market. They may not be must-sees, but a lot of horror devotees will suffer through them without too much cajoling.
So what can one expect from Scary Movie V? Well, it opens with Sheen and Lohan (playing themselves) making a sex tape (!), and while the two are having the kind of fun one has filming something like this, a demon from beyond the grave kills Charlie. Also, his kids are kidnapped, and Snoop Dogg and Mac Miller (also in eponymous roles) find them in what is clearly marked as a ‘cabin in the woods’. Then, after the kiddies are taken back into the fold by Charlie’s brother Dan (Simon Rex), the Paranormal Activity surveillance-camera part of Scary Movie V begins, with predictably winky jokiness.
I’ll say this about Anchor Bay’s technically sound Blu-ray edition of Scary Movie V: it comes to high-def at exactly the right time. Smack-dab in the doldrums of late summer, horror fans have already extinguished most of their options at the multiplex, and if it’s a choice between watching a movie they’ve already seen a hundred times or resigning themselves to the cheeky, braindead charms (if you can call them that) of Scary Movie V, it’s a no-brainer. One should not look to a film like Scary Movie V to have anything resembling inherent quality of any major note, but if you’ve been suckered in to watching any or all of the previous four installments, you’ll likely find marginal diversion here.