Ever stood in line for a shitty, low-rent haunted house? Well, I hope you enjoyed the hell out of that experience if you’re planning on watching 1990’s Scary Movie, because about half the runtime here is gonna be just that.
One of a number of genre skeletons in the closet of academy award nominee John “I Didn’t Say Help Us” Hawkes, Scary Movie finds him waiting for, and then wandering around endlessly through said haunted house. Sound pretty scary? Yeah, it’s not, but it’s probably still more aptly titled than the Wayans’ Brothers spoof, though less so than Kevin Williamson’s original Scream script.
This is kind of similar to Hauntedween, without most of the charm or watchability. Basically a killer escapes on Halloween night and holes up in a local haunt, where he can don a mask and go undetected.
It’s sort of fun, as it is somewhat amusing to watch Hawkes fumble around as the biggest Halloweenie moviedom may have ever produced, but there’s little here to justify much of a recommendation for anyone outside of completists. There’s really no horror, or fun characters, or much of a plot, or even that sense of low-budget love that permeates an endeavor like the aforementioned Hauntedween.
This makes for a long haul, even at 80 minutes, which is never a good sign. At the halfway point I’m pretty sure nothing has happened whatsoever, outside of the initial escape and all that waiting in line. By the end, nothing much more has happened either.
However, there’s a good amount of Halloween on display in Scary Movie and that’s really what we’re on about here. You need to be bringing one of at least 2 things to the table for a Treat designation: watchability (however abstrusely defined) or an abundance of some Halloween goodness. Scary Movie offers more of the latter than the former, but there’s some joy to be found here if you’re not too picky about your Halloween flicks.
And, despite being fairly predictable, the ending sort of lands on its feet. It doesn’t make up for how arduous it is to get there, but it’s something like a reward for time served.
It’s still early in the month, so have at it, if you’re bored, need a dose of Halloween atmosphere and aren’t feeling too discerning this October evening.
This one gets a pile of pumpkins and a tootsie roll, cause I love pumpkins and hate tootsie rolls.
Designation: tric…eh Treat…but not an emphatic one.