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Scary Movie is a 2000 American parody slasher film directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film spoofs multiple genres including the horror, slasher, and mystery film genres. Several 1990s films and TV shows are also spoofed, and the script primarily follows the plot of slasher films Scream (1996), and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).

Scary Movie
Movie poster for "Scary Movie".jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKeenen Ivory Wayans
Produced by
  • Eric L. Gold
  • Lee R. Mayes
Written by
Music byDavid Kitay
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byMark Helfrich
  • Wayans Bros. Entertainment[1]
  • Gold/Miller Productions[1]
  • Brad Grey Pictures[1]
Distributed byDimension Films[1]
Release date
  • July 7, 2000 (2000-07-07)
Running time
88 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million
Box office$278 million[3]

Despite a mixed critical reception, the film has since attracted a large cult following, and was a box office success, grossing $278 million worldwide on a $19 million budget.[3] The first in the Scary Movie film series, it was followed by four sequels.[4] The last sequel, Scary Movie 5 (2013), is the only installment in the series to have a storyline with new characters and different actors.



18-year-old Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) receives a threatening phone call while home alone. Drew is chased outside by Ghostface, who stabs her in the breast, removing one of her silicone breast implants. She is hit by a vehicle driven by her father - who is distracted by oral sex by his wife - and murdered by Ghostface.

Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) meets up with her boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams) and her friends, Brenda (Regina Hall), her secretly gay boyfriend Ray (Shawn Wayans), Greg (Lochlyn Munro) and Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth). Various news teams, including hack reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri), converge on the school in the wake of Drew's murder. Gail hooks up with Buffy's intellectually disabled brother Special Officer Doofy (Dave Sheridan), hoping to milk the facts out of him.

While Cindy is in class, she receives an ominous note and realizes Drew was murdered exactly one year after she and her friends accidentally killed a man. At a beauty pageant that evening, Greg is killed by Ghostface in plain view, while the audience mistakes Buffy's screams and pleas for help as being part of her act. When Buffy realizes she's won the pageant, she immediately forgets about Greg's death and celebrates her victory.

After Cindy goes home alone, Ghostface attacks her, but retreats when Cindy locks herself and contacts the police. Bobby arrives shortly after. A knife, a pair of black gloves and a telephone fall out of his pocket, leading Cindy to believe that he was the killer. The police arrests Bobby. Cindy heads to Buffy and Doofy's place and spends the night with them. She receives a call from Ghostface mocking her.

The following day, Bobby is released from jail. Buffy, high on the success of her victory at the pageant, ignores Cindy's warnings about the killer and is beheaded by Ghostface with a cleaver, though her severed head keeps talking, annoying Ghostface. That night, Ray and Brenda go to a showing of Shakespeare In Love, where Ray is stabbed in the ear in a bathroom stall. Ghostface goes after Brenda, but angry movie patrons, fed up with Brenda's rude and obnoxious behavior during the movie, kill her first.

Cindy throws a house party, hoping for safety in numbers. During the party, Bobby and Cindy go upstairs and have sex. Suddenly, Ghostface appears and apparently stabs Bobby, before disappearing quickly. Cindy gets a gun from a drawer near the entrance, Bobby follows and she tends to his wounds. Brenda's stoner brother Shorty (Marlon Wayans) comes up from the basement and informs them that all of the partygoers have fled the house. Bobby takes the gun and shoots Shorty, revealing that his wound was an elaborate ruse. Ray arrives on the scene, still alive.

Bobby and Ray confront Cindy in the kitchen and announce their intention to kill her and her father (Rick Ducommun), and that they are merely copying a real killer. They plan to make themselves look like heroes by wounding each other to indicate they fought back. Bobby admits being gay, while Ray refuses being so. The plan backfires when Ray stabs Bobby repeatedly, angry because his favorite show, The Wayans Bros., has been canceled. Ghostface abruptly arrives and stabs Ray. He and Cindy then fight each other, but Cindy successfully subdues him by employing moves copied from The Matrix and kicks him through a window. However, Ghostface vanishes before the police arrive.

At the police station, Cindy and the sheriff (Kurt Fuller) realize that Doofy, the only person who knew about the car accident, was faking his disability and is the killer. However, Doofy has already escaped with Gail Hailstorm. Upon finding his discarded disguise in the street, Cindy begins screaming but is soon hit by a car.

In a mid-credits scene, Shorty appears in a video made by himself of what is presumably advice on how to survive a horror movie but turns out to how to successfully enact a "snatch 'n' run".



The screenplay was developed by Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans with Buddy Johnson and Phil Beauman, writers for the sitcom The Wayans Bros.. At the same time, Miramax was developing a spoof of Scream scripted by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Due to a WGA decision, all six writers were credited, despite Friedberg and Seltzer not actually working on the filmed script.[5]


Much of the humor of Scary Movie relies upon specific references to other contemporary films. Roger Ebert remarked in his review that "to get your money's worth, you need to be familiar with the various teenage horror franchises."[6] The two films on which the script is most heavily based are Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), utilizing the general narrative arcs of both films, and featuring comedic recreations of key scenes.[7] The backstory in which the teenagers are responsible for accidentally killing a man following a beauty pageant recalls the same plot point in I Know What You Did Last Summer.[6] Major references to Scream include the character Ghostface and the murder of Drew Decker in the opening scene, a reference to the opening scene of Scream in which the same thing occurs to the character played by Drew Barrymore. Additionally, the characters of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer are heavily mirrored in the film.[7]

Many scenes and jokes parody or reference other films outside the horror film genre. The fight between Cindy and the killer heavily mimics The Matrix, particularly its use of bullet time.[6] The final scene, in which Doofy stops feigning his disability and drives away with Gail, is a takeoff of the final scene of The Usual Suspects.[8] When asked about her favorite horror movie, Drew answers "Kazaam" due to Shaquille O'Neal's acting.[6] Cindy becomes aggressive and roars "Say my name!" during sex with Bobby, similar to the sex scene between Michelle and Jim in American Pie.[8] A trailer for a fictitious sequel to Amistad titled Amistad II with elements of Titanic also appears in the movie theater scene.[9]

The film also makes other pop culture references beyond the scope of film, including a brief reference to Dawson's Creek and a parody of the Whassup? ad campaign by Budweiser.[10]

The tagline for the movie's poster was "No Shame. No Mercy. No Sequel." When Scary Movie 2 was released a year later, the tagline for the sequel was "We Lied."

Films parodiedEdit


Scary Movie opened theatrically in the United States on July 7, 2000 on 2,912 screens,[11] and debuted at number one at the box office, earning $42,346,669 its opening weekend.[11] The film ultimately grossed $157,019,771 domestically, and earned another $121,000,000 in foreign markets, making it a massive commercial success.[11]

Critical receptionEdit

Scary Movie received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 53% based on 113 reviews with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Critics say Scary Movie overloads on crudity and grossness to get its laughs."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Joe Leydon of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a positive review, remarking that the film was "unbounded by taste, inhibition or political correctness" and that "the outer limits of R-rated respectability are stretched, if not shredded" by the movie.[8] By contrast, Roger Ebert did not find the film as innovative, saying that the film lacked "the shocking impact of Airplane!, which had the advantage of breaking new ground."[6] However, Ebert did give the film 3 stars out of 4, saying it "delivers the goods", calling the film a "raucous, satirical attack on slasher movies."

Bob Longino of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution felt that the film's crude humor detracted from the film, saying that Scary Movie "dives so deep into tasteless humor that it's a wonder it landed an R rating instead of an NC-17."[15] Other reviewers, such as A.O. Scott of The New York Times, argued that the jokes were "annoying less for their vulgarity than for their tiredness." Scott remarked in his review, "Couch-bound pot smokers, prison sex, mannish female gym teachers, those Whassssup Budweiser commercials -- hasn't it all been done to death?".[9]


Scary Movie
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJuly 4, 2000
GenreHip hop, Alternative rock
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [16]

The soundtrack to Scary Movie was released on July 4, 2000 through TVT Records and consists of a blend of hip hop and rock music.

Track listing
  1. "Too Cool for School"- 2:27 (Fountains of Wayne)
  2. "The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope"- 3:53 (Bloodhound Gang)
  3. "Stay"- 3:56 (Radford)
  4. "The Only Way to Be"- 3:20 (Save Ferris)
  5. "My Bad"- 3:22 (Oleander)
  6. "Punk Song #2"- 2:46 (Silverchair)
  7. "Everybody Wants You"- 4:11 (Unband)
  8. "Superfly"- 2:55 (Bender)
  9. "I Wanna Be Sedated"- 2:31 (The Ramones)
  10. "Scary Movies"- 3:56 (Bad Meets Evil)
  11. "All bout U"- 4:34 (Tupac Shakur, Top Dogg, Yaki Kadafi, Hussein Fatal, Nate Dogg & Dru Down)
  12. "I Want Cha"- 4:37 (Black Eyed Peas)
  13. "What What"- 5:03 (Public Enemy)
  14. "Feel Me"- 3:49 (Rah Digga, Rampage & Rock)
  15. "I'm the Killer"- 3:57 (Lifelong & Incident)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Scary Movie". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Scary Movie (18)". British Board of Film Classification. August 3, 2000. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Scary Movie (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  4. ^ "Scary Movie 5 , Cogan's Trade and Butter Get New Dates -". February 16, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e Ebert, Roger (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Raymond, Adam K. (April 15, 2013). "Every Movie 'Spoofed' in the Scary Movie Franchise". Vulture. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Schwarzbaum, Lisa (July 21, 2000). "Scary Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Scott, A. O. (July 7, 2000). "Scary Movie". The New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  10. ^ Leydon, Joe (June 29, 2000). "Scary Movie". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c "Scary Movie (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  12. ^ "Scary Movie (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "Scary Movie Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  14. ^ "CinemaScore".
  15. ^ Longino, Bob. "Scary Movie". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  16. ^ Scary Movie at AllMusic

External linksEdit