About a year ago, "Scary Movie" became a most unexpected success, racking up well over 100 million dollars as it took a biting look at the horror genre, satiring the teen horror genre that had been so popular for the past couple of years before slowing down. The tag line for the poster read "No Shame. No Mercy. No Sequel." That was, obviously, before they knew how well it did. Although I liked that the original poster line for the sequel was "We Lied", the sequel itself isn't half bad, either. Like the first movie, it attempts a "Zucker Brothers" style of joke-making - throw a ton of bits against the wall and several of them stick.
Several of the main characters come back from the original movie - even those who weren't too lucky in the first feature. There's lead Cindy (Anna Faris), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Shorty (Marlon Wayans) and Brenda (Regina Hall). New to the proceedings are Buddy (Christopher Masterson), Theo (Kathleen Robertson) and Tori Spelling as well as Chris Elliot find their way in. The students are recruited to spend a weekend in a haunted house by their college teacher (Tim Curry) and his assistant (David Cross).
The movie opens with a suprisingly funny parody of "The Exorcist" with James Woods playing the exorcist. Although Marlon Brando was originally scheduled to play the role, he dropped out after illness. Either way, I think Woods, with his sharp delivery and fine comedic timing, was probably the better choice anyways. Natasha Lyonne also does a fine, funny job as the girl possessed.
The rest of the movie is mainly a parody of "The Haunting" and "House On Haunted Hill" (with a "What Lies Beneath" bit thrown in), but the suprise is that some of the funniest parodies are actually of movies that aren't part of the horror genre. An early scene in the movie has a parody of "Save The Last Dance" that's incredibly funny. There's also a decent joke made out of a movie that was a joke to begin with - "Hollow Man". More of the original's amusingly sick and twisted humor returns here and, like all good sequels, it goes even further in that regard. "Scary Movie 2" is definitely a solid "R", like the original. Also in that regard, DON"T TAKE YOUR KIDS. I'm really getting sick of seeing parents taking very young children to movies like this. End of rant.
Anyways, most of the cast shows a fine talent for comedy, especially Anna Faris. There's something so entertaining about how she's been able to show a perfect blend of "winking" at the audience about the satire - that she's in on the joke - and that the character is really believing what's going on. The Wayans Brothers also are talented comedians and have some seriously hilarious moments, as well. Masterson (I think this is the one from "Malcolm In The Middle" not "That 70's Show". They both look the same.) also makes a few good bits out of a bit part.
The movie works best when the jokes feel spontaneous and original - such as the wonderfully well-timed "Last Dance" bit, but there are some other gimmicks that are good for a chuckle, but don't carry too far - there's a trash-talking parot, for example. The sum of all of the bit parts is mildly entertaining, but in a sloppy, fun sort of way - it occasionally works, occasionally doesn't during it's 80 minute running time. Most certainly could wait to rent this instead, but if you're looking for some gross-out humor, "Scary Movie 2" makes for an entertaining, if forgettable 80 minutes.