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Still shot from the movie: Scary Movie 3.

Scary Movie 3

The first movie in The Scary Movie franchise to be rated PG-13 (instead of R), this film uses crude humor to spoof popular horror films. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: D 0.5
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: C-
Language: D
Drugs/Alcohol: C-
Run Time: 84
Theater Release: 24 Oct 2003
Video Release: 11 May 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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The greatest surprise while seeing Scary Movie 3 won't be found in the film itself, but on the poster outside. Look down… way down… and you'll see a PG-13 rating, which puts this chapter of the Scary franchise into a whole new marketing frame (the two preceding Scary Movies were rated R). Even so, chances are most parents won't be anxious to fill their minivans with young attendees.

Like past romps through these cynical woods, Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) is the main character around whom revolves a bizarre cast of characters representing the Top Ten thriller films from the past few years. Blending together The Ring, Signs, The Sixth Sense, and a handful of other jump-in-the-dark titles, a plot inexplicably forms which begins to link Cindy to a curse involving a videotape and crop circles, while her son is able to see future events.

If you're coming to this one expecting to be dazzled by dialogue and complex themes, you'd best stay in the popcorn lineup. Like the prequels, the whole point of the experience is to make fun of past movies--and for a few brief moments, this one actually shines at spoofing spookers. Unfortunately the comedy burns out quickly after the first half hour.

The rest of the time we grope our way through excessive slapstick violence, sexual dialogue, innuendo, and just plain tastelessness. For instance, when a man's wife is dying from being cut in two by a truck (a la Signs), her husband asks a police officer if he can still have sex with her bottom half; or when a woman tells a young boy that his mother wanted to cut his umbilical cord at birth, but instead chopped his penis.

Another nominee for Most Disgusting Movie Moment For 2003 could go to the funeral scene when two men jump on a female corpse in an open casket. Using CPR and shock therapy from a lamp, the ordeal eventually leads to the removal of the woman's clothes and underwear. Finally, electricity is applied and the body explodes.

The previous installments in this franchise, R-rating notwithstanding, have been big hits with adolescents--especially on video. Now with a "teen friendly" rating and easier box office access to even younger audiences, this film is scary in a whole new way.

Scary Movie 3 is rated PG-13: for pervasive crude and sexual humor, language, comic violence and drug references.

Director: David Zucker, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Cast: Pamela Anderson, Charlie Sheen
Website: Official site for Scary Movie 3.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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