[Screen It]


(2013) (Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex) (PG-13)

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Comedy: In this spoof of recent horror movies, a young couple care for three orphaned children brought in from the wild to a home fitted with a myriad of security cameras and haunted by an evil spirit.
Jody (ASHLEY TISDALE) and Dan (SIMON REX) are a young married couple who come to care for the three kids of Dan's recently deceased brother. While the baby is normal, the two young daughters, Kathy (GRACIE WHITTON) and Lily (AVA KOLKER), have been living in a cabin in the woods with an evil entity they refer to as "Mama," and are quite creepy and wild.

Fearing for their safety, Dan and Jody wire the house with multiple cameras to help determine if they are being haunted by the same force. Their housekeeper, Maria (LIDIA PORTO), decides to take matters into her own hands to defeat the entity, slaughtering a chicken and investing heavily in crosses.

Meanwhile, Jody decides to resume her dream career as a ballerina and vies with a rival ballet dancer named Kendra (ERICA ASH) and runs afoul of an older dancer named Heather (MOLLY SHANNON) who she has replaced as the lead in a production of "Swan Lake." For his part, Dan continues to thrive in his career as a scientist researching apes and their intelligence.

OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a couple of paragraphs about the film's artistic merits.

Not since "The Artist" has a film just kidding. Wow, movie fans. You thought the "Die Hard" franchise had run completely out of steam earlier in the year. Wait until you get a load of the latest "Scary Movie" flick. This was never a great franchise to begin with. But at least the previous movies had the nutty Anna Faris doing her best Julie Haggerty throughout. In "Scary Movie V," poor Ashley Tisdale inherits the female lead in this extended spoof of recent horror flicks and she really struggles.

This is a movie that was not screened for reviewers anywhere. Even worse, in most markets, there were not even 10 p.m. or midnight screenings the night before official release. So, Yours Truly saw it earlier this morning at a pre-11 a.m. showing with a smattering of people who seem to have been punishing themselves for playing hooky from their day jobs or missing college classes. I have been to funerals a LOT less sad than this laughless 85 minutes.

I'll give the film, directed by Malcolm Lee and co-written by David Zucker and Pat Proft, credit for including a pretty dead-on parody of the newest "Evil Dead" film that has been in theaters less than two weeks. But spoofing the "Paranormal Activity" films is about as low as you can get in comedy right now. And an opening sequence involving Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan making a sex tape will prove funny only to those who have spent way too much time reading the supermarket tabloids and not living their own lives. Go live some life, folks. Avoid this. It rates no higher than a 2 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed April 12, 2013 / Posted April 12, 2013

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