Directed by: Keenen Ivory Wayans

Written by: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Alyson Fouse, Greg Grabianski, Dave Polsky, Michael Anthony Snowden, Craig Wayans

Starring: Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Regina Hall, Tori Spelling

Rating: [2/5]

Reaching the point of diminished returns, one would hope, appears after several successful initial entries. Or like in the case of Scary Movie 2, they can appear in the very next film. Already declining negatively, this feature doubles down on the crude humor of this era of spoof films but lacks any of the intelligent jokes made in the first feature. 

All sharing the experience of surviving a traumatic event, Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) and others receive an invitation to take part in a study held in a haunted mansion. While there they feel the effects of the ghost controlling everything and how it wishes to utilize these young college students for its own gain. 

When thinking of the writing found in Scary Movie 2, the only answer that can possibly exist is it was written by a committee of 13-year-old boys. Seriously, some of the jokes and scenes written here made me embarrassed even to be part of the audience nonetheless the one putting my name to have crafted this movie. When it opens with a satire of the famous exorcism scene in The Exorcist, the vulgarity on display makes itself quite clear with the type of humor we will receive. None of it comes with any sense of intelligence or wit but pure gross-out humor. Beginning with a scene where characters projectile-vomit on each other just does not cut the mustard and not much else in the feature comes in to save the day and redeem it. 

With the first feature working as a good riff on two iconic films, this film never has a strong hold on what it seeks to make fun of. Sure it has different horror movies it satirizes in specific scenes but nothing has a narrative throughline of note to laugh at. Sure, it has elements of The Haunted Mansion amongst other movies but none of it makes for something really cohesive or anything worth making fun of for our entertainment value. This lack of focus does no favors to the film in this incredibly scattershot approach. Add that to the horrific jokes this film employs and it makes for something quite difficult to sit through. 

For a film with no narrative flow and surviving on the bits and scenes strung together, this feature needed these moments to each land. With no sense of connection, it just leaves all of these short sequences floundering on their own and with the lack of quality writing attributed to each of them, these moments had no chance of succeeding. This proved true in the final result and what occurs in this film. You get jokes like the butler and his deformed hand operating as the butt of many jokes and it leaves for limp and uninspired comedy. Sure, as an adolescent kid these scenes felt funny but when looking at it with any critical eye, it just feels wholly uninspired and not something worth celebrating. 

One of this film’s saving graces came from the cast, who despite having much worse material still brought the goods in their performances. With several cast members reprising their roles from the first film, they brought the personality of their characters and made some unbearable scenes somewhat watchable. Once again, Regina Hall shines as Brenda. The scene where she wishes Cindy would die and lead the ghost away from her demonstrates what makes her such a brilliant comedic force. She can make terrible dreck look good in how she manages to deliver it. 

Knowing the production issues miring this film does build some sympathy in the way this film had parameters set for it to fail. However, it does not completely excuse the lazy elements of this movie making for something nearly unwatchable at times and causing nothing but eye rolls for the majority of the viewing experience. These films have the potential to be incredibly fun in the way they can make fun of things like horror movies that contain many elements worth poking fun at but this feature completely misses the mark. Completely saved from a lower grade because of its stellar cast, not much else can redeem this unfortunate sequel really showing why this genre of films fizzled out once the shtick got old.

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