The Scary Movie Franchise

How to Watch ‘Scary Movie’ in Order

Famous for its tongue-in-cheek irreverence, the Scary Movie series mirrors the often ludicrous and melodramatic domain of horror films and the broader cultural milieu. Scary Movie began its cinematic antics in 2000 and didn’t just stop at lampooning horror; no genre was safe. The satirical tour through popular culture that began with a few lighthearted digs at Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer quickly snowballed into a parodying romp through everything from The Matrix to The Exorcist, with the occasional romantic comedy or hip-hop feud thrown in for good measure. 

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As the critics rolled their eyes and muttered about the franchise’s occasional flirtation with lowbrow humor, one couldn’t help but acknowledge the undeniable cultural impact of these cinematic gems. They were like living time capsules, embodying the spirit of their times. After all, nothing screams “turn of the millennium,” quite like seeing Carmen Electra being chased by a masked killer while she dribbles a basketball in stilettos. The franchise, in its audacity, became a barometer for pop culture’s ebb and flow. The more sacred a film or trend seemed, the more ripe it was for a Scary Movie parody. 

But what made the series particularly astute was its awareness of the absurdities within the very culture it parodied. It didn’t just mock the tropes of the movies; it shed light on our collective obsession with them. Why do we enjoy seeing teenagers chased by a killer? Why do we repeatedly return to haunted houses and alien invasions? Scary Movie didn’t just laugh at the films; it laughed at us, the audience, and our sometimes inexplicable cinematic appetites. If you’re in the mood for a good ol’ trip down memory lane, ready to laugh at your favorite horror flicks, here are all the entries in the Scary Movie franchise. 

Scary Movie (2000)

Scary Movie 1 Anna Faris tongues bedroom scene
(Miramax Films)

Folks thought they’d seen it all when the year 2000 rolled along with its millennium bugs and Y2K anxieties, but then Scary Movie came along to remind us that the actual terror was … our insatiable need for teen slashers. The Keenen Ivory Wayans-directed uproarious parody took the pomposity out of films like Scream, and I Know What You Did Last Summer, merrily popping their suspenseful bubbles with a sharpened pin of satire. 

With a cast led by the indefatigable Anna Faris and the poker-faced Regina Hall, the film wasn’t just content with tongue-in-cheek moments; it practically laughed at its own absurdity. Scenes that once had us biting our nails in the original movies were turned into moments where we choked on our popcorn from laughter. Underneath the onslaught of crude jokes and over-the-top performances, Scary Movie was a witty, though unruly, critique of the formulaic nature of the horror genre. 

Scary Movie 2 (2001)

Scary Movie 2 Cast Regina Hall, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans
(Miramax Films)

Just as we were dusting off the confetti from the millennium party and beginning to believe that we’d seen the pinnacle of parody, Scary Movie 2 came strolling onto the screen with the swagger of a sequel on a mission. Scary Movie 2, building on the success of its predecessor, was less of an encore and more like a gleefully chaotic second act. The illustrious Wayans Brothers delved deeper (or should I say, even more shamelessly) into the treasure trove of cinematic clichés. 

Whereas the first film skewered teen slasher flicks, this romp took on the haunted house genre with gusto. Remember the sinisterly sensual possessed hand? Or the frenetic exorcism that made one question the sanctity of mashed potatoes forever? Scary Movie 2 took things that go bump in the night and made them snort with laughter. While some might’ve thought the franchise would lose its edge the second time, it was clear that this series was only warming up its satirical muscles. 

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Scary Movie 3 Regina Hall and Anna Faris
(Miramax Films)

2003 arrived, and with it, the third installment of a franchise that refused to be boxed in (or, perhaps, just refused to leave the party). Scary Movie 3 was like that audacious friend who, after telling two hysterically funny jokes, feels the need to land a third against all odds. Veering away from its haunting and slashing forebears, the film bravely decided to dance with aliens and, for good measure, throw in a cursed videotape. 

With director David Zucker at the helm, the spoof expert behind Airplane! and The Naked Gun, one could anticipate the genre-bending chaos that was about to ensue. Remember Anna Faris’s harrowing showdown with a TV? Or the sarcastic jabs at pop culture, ranging from rapping farmers to perplexed news anchors? Scary Movie 3 left no stone—or cornfield—unturned in its quest to mock early 2000s films. In a world where sequels often reek of redundancy, this third chapter not only broke the mold but laughed at the very concept of molds. 

Scary Movie 4 (2006)

Dr Phil and Shaq in Scary Movie 4
(The Weinstein Company)

After three movies, most franchises would’ve reclined into the comfort of their laurels, but not our dear Scary Movie. Instead, it strutted on with the confidence of a catwalk model dressed in knock-offs. Scary Movie 4, in its ever-audacious spirit, decided to tap dance on the horror genre’s toes and pirouette across the floors of sci-fi and disaster movies. Directed yet again by the seasoned satirist David Zucker, the film took on Tom Cruise’s couch-jumping antics and War of the Worlds

It gave us a unique perspective on what would happen if The Village met Saw in a twisted comedic universe. Anna Faris, our perennial parody queen, once more navigated this medley of madness, unearthing laughs in the most unexpected corners. Scary Movie 4 reminded us all that even in the face of alien invasions and possessed dolls, a good chuckle is never amiss.

Scary Movie 5 (2013)

Scary Movie 5 sofa scene
(The Weinstein Company)

By 2013, one might’ve thought the Scary Movie franchise had gleefully exhausted its bag of tricks. But lo and behold, we were gifted with Scary Movie 5. This fifth romp, clearly in no mood for restraint, frolicked through parodies of films like Black Swan and Paranormal Activity and even ventured into the insufferable universe of Fifty Shades of Grey

Having bid adieu to Anna Faris, the series welcomed Ashley Tisdale as the hilariously harried protagonist navigating haunted houses and ballet backstabs. Some might say the franchise was pushing its comedic luck, but then again, wasn’t that always its charm? 

(featured image: Miramax Films)

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Faith Katunga
Faith is a freelance journalist with an insatiable curiosity for all aspects of current events, from the global economy and fashion to pop culture and travel. She watches an absurd number of cat videos on Instagram when not reading or writing about what is going on in the world. Faith has written for several publications, including We Got This Covered, Italy Magazine, TheTravel, etc., and holds a master's degree in Fashion Culture and Management.