Here’s Every Scary Movie in the Horror-Comedy Franchise, Ranked

The Scary Movie franchise is a series of five parody movies centered on the horror genre. The franchise re-invented the horror-comedy as we knew it at the time. Rather than combining a horror movie and adding comedic elements, the franchise took an all-out spoof approach, throwing non-stop jokes throughout the film. The script was innovative and refreshed the spoof film genre in general; it was crass and funny and nowhere near politically correct – and audiences loved it. The popular horror-comedy franchise was first introduced to audiences in the year 2000 with the first installment Scary Movie, the highest-grossing of all the films. Altogether, the box office earnings for the franchise is nearly $ 900 million worldwide.


Scary Movie was originally a Wayans family affair, directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans and starring brothers Shawn and Marlon, however, they were only involved in the first two movies due to disagreements with The Weinstein Company. The Scary Movie franchise was so popular, it even spawned its sub-genre of spoof comedies, including Not Another Teen Movie, Date Movieand Epic Movie. Further to that, Scary Movie was Anna Faris’ breakout role. Faris was an unknown actress at the time she was cast in Scary Movie and credits her role in the popular horror spoof as the start of her lengthy comedy career. The franchise may not have been awards fodder, but it certainly kept audiences entertained. Here’s every Scary Movie in the horror-comedy franchise, ranked.

Related: Here are 9 of the Funniest Horror-Comedies Ever Made

Scary Movie 5 (2013)

Dimension Films

Scary Movie 5 is the least successful of the franchise in large part because of losing its two remaining original cast members, but also because the genre itself was going stale due to straight-to-video spoof movies such as Disaster Movie, Vampires Suckand Meet the Spartans. The departure of the Wayans Brothers certainly hurt the horror-comedy series, but fans were comforted by familiar cast members Anna Faris and Regina Hall. In Scary Movie 5, however, the familiarity is gone, and the franchise that fans once knew is almost unrecognizable, which is probably why there has not been another installment in the better part of a decade. The film parodies Insidious, Paranormal Activity, Sinister, and Mom, amongst others. The plot revolves around Jody and Dan Sanders (Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex, respectively), who, after they move into a new home and adopt three children, soon realize a there is a sinister force within the home, and it is after their children . Watch the trailer for Scary Movie 5 here.

Scary Movie 4 (2006)

Dimension Films

Scary Movie 4 is the last movie in which any of the original cast stars. We also see the return of Carmen Electra, albeit playing a different character. The film spoofs War of the Worlds, Saw, The Village, and The Grudge. In an unexpected twist, the fourth film in the series closes out the storyline from the original Scary Movie released six years earlier. Shaquille O’Neale and Dr. Phil star as themselves, opening the movie with a parody of Saw where the two men are chained up in a bathroom, meanwhile Cindy and Brenda team up with her cute but dim-witted neighbor Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko) to save the world from a hostile alien invasion.

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Dimension Films

Scary Movie 3 is the first film in the horror-comedy franchise that did not involve the Wayans Brothers. Further to that, it is also the first in the franchise with a PG-13 rating. Despite being the first film not helmed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, it was pretty funny. It sees the return of Anna Faris, Regina Hall, and the addition of Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, and Kevin Hart. As far as earnings go, it is the second most successful film in the series earning $ 220,673,217 worldwide. Scary Movie 3 spoofs The Ring, Signsand the Eminem pseudo biopic 8 Mile. When Cindy watches an unusual videotape, she gets a creepy phone call insisting she has 7 days to live. Upon receiving the terrible news, Cindy seeks out affection in rapper George Logan. While the tape is circulating, George and his older brother Tom (Sheen) discover crop circles in their cornfields and later learn they are from a group of aliens that are descending to earth to help save mankind from the killer associated with the mysterious videotapes.

Scary Movie 2 (2001)

Dimension Films

Scary Movie 2 takes the second spot as it is the last film to include contributions from the creative minds behind the franchise, the Wayans Brothers. The brothers were ultimately forced out by The Weinstein Company when they could not agree on terms. Actor Marlon Wayans told Variety“[The Weinstein’s are] not the best or the kindest people to be in business with. They’re very much an evil regime, I guess. They do what they want to do how they do it – and it can be rude and quite disrespectful. We could not come to terms with the deal. It’s like, ‘If you do not want to pay for the jokes, have somebody else do it.’

The film sees several returning cast members, including Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Anna Faris, and Regina Hall, who are joined by newcomers Christoper Masterson, Theo Robertson, Tori Spelling, and the incomparable Tim Curry. Scary Movie 2 takes a turn from its predecessor and instead of slasher films aims at supernatural phenomena and haunted house movies such as The Haunting, The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, and Poltergeist, amongst others. It follows the group of friends as they are lured to a haunted house by a skeevy college professor (Curry) who plans to use the unsuspecting teens as bait to study paranormal activity within the house.

Related: These are Regina Hall’s Best Performances, Ranked

Scary Movie (2000)

Dimension Films

The best and most popular film in the horror-comedy franchise is the original Scary Movie as it was an innovative concept at the time and helped breathe new life into the spoof film and horror-comedy genres. It was also the highest-grossing of the five films, earning $ 157 million on a production budget of $ 19 million. It is best described as a satirical hodgepodge of relevant popular culture with a focus on horror films. Some films and TV shows the film targets are Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, The Matrix, and the well-liked teen series Dawson’s Creek. Anna Farris stars as Cindy Campbell in her breakout role. Her co-stars include Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Regina Hall, Shannon Elizabeth, and Carmen Electra. The plot – if you can call it that – follows a group of teenagers who kill a man by hitting him with their car. The following summer, a man in a ghost mask turns up to settle the score, hunts them down, and kills them one by one. Scary Movie was rated R, however, it pushed the boundaries of an R rating with its low-brow humor and borderline impropriety. The hit movie celebrated its 20th anniversary in the year 2020.

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