All Five ‘Scary Movie’ Movies Ranked From Worst to Best

Scary Movie 5” widens the franchise’s scope of mockery.

The Scary Movie franchise isn’t exactly what you would refer to as “peak comedy.” It is, however, a series that reliably kept general audiences entertained for 90 minutes. The Scary Movie series, most of which star the irreplaceable Anna Faris and Regina Hall, are silly and absurd, with jokes so dumb and corny that you often feel embarrassed when you find yourself giggling along.

These spoof movies mock contemporary horror films and clichés of their era. Like so many franchises, the Scary Movie movies are inconsistent in quality, with the series ranging from comedy cult classics to Scary Movie 5: not even its director had anything good to say about it.

5) ‘Scary Movie V’ (2013)

Scary Movie 5 (AKA Scary Movie V) makes the rest of the Scary Movies look like masterpieces. This movie has so much contempt for the intelligence of its viewers it’s shocking. There’s no sugar-coating it; it’s bad in every way. Even dreadful films are usually aware of the fundamentals of movie-making, like spatial awareness and basic editing, but Scary Movie 5 fails miserably at even these simplest tasks.

Parodying the movies “Mama” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, it’s the worst of them all.

There isn’t a laugh to be found. It’s hard to reconcile that people were paid good money to make this travesty, especially with so many talented artists working their butt off to get by. While watching this train wreck, you feel embarrassed for everybody involved, to the point where if you’re going through a hard time, you can tell yourself, “Well, at least I wasn’t in Scary Movie 5”.

4) ‘Scary Movie’ (2000)

Sorry to say, but no amount of rose-tinted nostalgia goggles can deflect the fact that Scary Movie is a bad movie. Sure, like most older comedies, there are plenty of jokes that haven’t aged well and are politically incorrect and cruel by today’s standards, but that’s not Scary Movie’s issue; it’s that the jokes are terribly written, regardless of taste.

Primarily a parody of the Scream films, Scary Movie’s biggest failure is that Scream is already a satire of horror films and a far more clever, funny, and memorable one, for that matter. Scary Movie is the film equivalent of a photocopy of a photocopy.

3) ‘Scary Movie 2’ (2001)

While no great feat, Scary Movie 2 alleviates some of the issues that plagued the original Scary Movie. For one, Scary Movie 2 parodies serious, time-tested horror films like The Exorcist, The Haunting, Poltergeist, and The Amityville Horror. It also has the added strength of great comedy actors like Tim Curry, Chris Elliot, and David Cross, elevating mediocre material.

While not a comedy revelation or anything, Scary Movie 2’s jokes are certainly a step-up in quality. The cinematography, sound design, acting, and visual effects are a big improvement from its predecessor, though its music and gross-out gags are still almost as lame and lazy. Scary Movie 2 is one of those comedies whose quality entirely depends on your disposition before watching it. Watch it only if you’re already in a good mood.

2) ‘Scary Movie 4’ (2006)

Scary Movie 4 is the second film in the franchise directed by legendary spoof director David Zucker. He was co-director of some of the best American comedies of all time (Airplane!, The Naked Gun). Scary Movie 4 is so lightweight and breezy that when you get to the end, you feel like no time has passed at all. It’s a welcome mockery of the J-horror craze of the early naughties, torture-porn like the Saw series, and alien invasion blockbusters. Scary Movie 4 introduces Craig Bierko to the series. Bierko makes a great Tom Cruise impression while portraying “Tom Ryan,” a character modeled after protagonist Ray Ferrier from Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds.

Leslie Nielsen brings his legendary spoof credentials to the floor, portraying the incompetent and bizarre President of the USA. His scene parodying GW Bush’s infamous “My Pet Goat” fiasco is a stand-out. Anna Faris reliably kills it and remains the funniest attribute of the entire series. Her wistful inclinations and earnest naivety provide even the silliest jokes with a layer of truthfulness. It’s a relentlessly entertaining, turn-your-brain-off experience and was a satisfying end to the Scary Movie “quadrilogy.”

1) ‘Scary Movie 3’ (2003)

The first of the series to be helmed by David Zucker, Scary Movie 3 is the most consistently funny entry. Riffing on massive pop-cultural hits like The Ring, the Matrix films, 8 Mile, and M. Night Shymalan’s Signs, Cindy Campbell is now a tv journalist investigating cryptic alien crop circles and a mysterious tape that kills its victims seven days after they view it (sound familiar?).

With the exit of the Wayans from the series, the entire success of the movie is thrust onto Anna Faris’s capable shoulders. She has amazing comedic chemistry with Simon Rex and spoof veteran Charlie Sheen, who nail their roles as brothers who own a farm, parodying the Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix characters from Signs. The most well-written, tightly paced, and clever out of the five Scary Movie films, Scary Movie 3 deserves your time if you’re a fan of the spoof genre. Make sure you watch the extended version, too.

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Mohammad Mo
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The former Big Brother contestant has been working with MarkMeets for 5+ years.

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