I can't believe I am about to say this but "Scary Movie 4" isn't that bad, well in fact isn't that bad compared to the other movies in the series. It still isn't as good as the first movie but compared to "Scary Movie 2" and "Scary Movie 3" it works. Why? Well the simple truth is that it doesn't feel desperate to make a joke out of everything, it is just happy to have you laugh by spotting what movies and scenes it is spoofing. And that makes a big difference because it means you can have fun picking up the various references rather than just having to deal with incessant gross out comedy.
Now I am not going to try and give you a synopsis because to be frank life is too short to make sense of everything which goes on other than to say that after various spoofs it finally gives us a spoof of "War of the Worlds" as a base and then throws in a lot of movie spoofs and pop culture references to flesh it out. As such we have spoofs of "The Village", "Saw" and "Final Destination" and then such iconic moments of Tom Cruises "I'm in Love" moment on "The Oprah Winfrey" show. And like with the previous movies part of the fun is spotting these various references with some obvious and some less so such as a scene where President Baxter Harris continues to read to children after being told America is under attack.
The difference between "Scary Movie 4" and the previous sequels is that it feels like it is trying less hard to be funny. We still have gross out and sexual humour from a Scene featuring Charlie Sheen with 3 blondes in his bed to a character being washed in her own urine but these moments are fewer than in previous movies. Instead we just have the fun of iconic scenes being spoofed such as the opening which sees Shaq and Dr. Phil in a "Saw" rip off.
That brings me to something which amazes me and that is the number of people they managed to get involved despite the previous movies in the series not being brilliant. Mike Tyson, Bill Pullman, James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Madsen are just a few which accompany regulars such as Anna Faris, Regina Hall and Leslie Nielsen. Even some old faces from previous movies crop up such as Charlie Sheen and Chris Elliott as well as Carmen Electra.
What this all boils down to is that "Scary Movie 4" was a bit of surprise because I expected little after the previous sequels. It's still not great but because it seems to just have fun trying to spoof various iconic horror movies rather than trying to be funny with set piece gags it's enjoyable.