Scary Movie 2 (2001)

Rating: D-

Dir: Keenan Ivory Wayans
Star: Tim Curry, Marlon Wayans, Anna Faris, Regina Hall

You know a comedy is in trouble when it starts by satirising a 30-year old movie like The Exorcist, which has already has an entire parody devoted to it. That it still manages to go downhill from there is impressive, with the rest of the movie managing precisely one genuine laugh. In many ways, it actually works better as a straight horror movie, with caretaker Hanson (Chris Elliott) a genuinely creepy character, and the shenanigans are not much dumber than your average haunted-house movie. Tim Curry, slumming it badly (and so is James Woods – a late replacement for Marlon Brando – as the exorcising priest), plays a professor who recruits a group of students to spend a weekend in a mansion, with the usual results.

I say something vague like “the usual results”, largely because there’s precious little to stick in my mind. None of the characters are memorable, and neither are many of the jokes – there’s a carbon-copy parody of Charlie’s Angels, which gets the aforementioned laugh thanks to creative use of a fountain, and that’s it. The success of this one means part three is probably inevitable, but we will not be rushing to download that one off the Internet.