Scary Movie 3 claims to be a “scary movie,” but all it does is copy other more effective films— many of which aren’t even horror.
“Scary Movie 3” follows the disjointed lives of journalist Cindy (Anna Faris), aspiring rapper George (Simon Rex), George’s brother Tom (Charlie Sheen) who is a farmer, and various others as they face the imminent danger of aliens, a killer tape, and more. David Zucker, known for other terrible films like “Airplane!” and “Top Secret!” directs this 2003 horror flop. The plot is cobbled together (perhaps due to the reshoots the film underwent) and barely feels coherent; many threads are irrelevant and the whole thing feels rushed.
The acting is over the top and completely unbelievable. Charlie Sheen, a revered actor known for respected television show “Two and a Half Men” can’t even save this picture. Anna Faris, portraying an ambitious journalist, is genuine enough, but her character is so poorly written it is hard to get over, and her vapid delivery cheapens the whole thing. The women are treated horribly in this film and shallowly portrayed, leaning into stereotypes. Simon Rex is easily the highlight of the film, and while he is still not giving it 100%, his gritty character work is admirable and acts as a precursor for later roles like the one in “Red Rocket.” The underdog arc his character experiences is the most compelling, but that isn’t saying much. Leslie Nielsen plays the president and represents a spot-on George W. Bush type, but many of his scenes felt out of place. Many of the actors don’t seem to care enough to put in convincing performances, and the characters make puzzling choices and are very unintelligent even when scenarios are obvious.
There are endless continuity issues— at one point a sheriff’s hat drastically changes sizes between cuts. It seems an obvious error, yet was left in the final cut. It is not the only example of this type of offense, but it is the most memorable.
All the violence and death scenes are questionably executed, and many of the effects are simply laughable; much of it is obviously fake. The actors don’t seem to be committed either, which undercuts any tension it had. The climax, which should be intense, falls flat and is absurd at best.
Overall, it’s just unoriginal. It seems the screenwriters couldn’t come up with their own ideas. One of the screenwriters is Craig Mazin, who has also recently ripped off the video game “The Last of Us” and the Chernobyl disaster both for his own HBO television shows. If you want a similar feel but better, it’s best to just watch “Signs,” “The Ring,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and “8 Mile” instead. The film is frankly offensive to cinema.
1 / 5 stars – not even scary