‘Scary Movie 4’


Part three was so wretched, it actually made you miss the Wayans brothers, but the fourth Scary Movie has its share of good laughs. It unspools like a Mad magazine parody, primarily of The Grudge and War of the Worlds, but also some lesser targets both obvious (Saw) and not (Fahrenheit 9/11). Anna Faris returns, this time channeling Sarah Michelle Gellar, while Craig Bierko—underrated as a comic actor—goes to town on Hollywood’s biggest target, Tom Cruise. (Other good spoof-casting choices include Chris Elliott for Adrien Brody and Bill Pullman for William Hurt in The Village, and Charlie Sheen for Pullman in The Grudge.) The jokes miss more than they hit, but there are a lot of them, and when they work, it’s gold. (A gag that involves a car’s automatic-locking system is utterly brilliant.) And given that director David Zucker recently became a Republican, bonus points for all the jokes involving Leslie Nielsen as a familiarly bumbling president.