Poor Charlie Sheen! In the opening of "Scary Movie V," no sooner does he bed Lindsay Lohan — both barely convincing playing themselves — than a ghost kills him and kidnaps his three kids. (Legal troubles aside, Lohan is fine.) Three months later, Snoop Dogg finds the now-crabwalking moppets in a haunted cabin in Humboldt County and delivers them and their new ghost mom back to civilization.
Three months is auspicious. "Scary Movie V" lifts its plot from Jessica Chastain's surprise horror hit "Mama," released in January, and if you think three months is an impossible amount of time to write and produce a feature film, well, it is. In the Oscar nominee's role is former Disney star Ashley Tisdale, here seen having her way with a microwave. A game comedian, she earns our applause through sheer empathy.
Director Malcolm D. Lee's strategy is to out-stupid the competition. Roll your eyes at "Paranormal Activity 2's" haunted robot pool cleaner? Here the droid stirs to life to throw a raging house party, snorting bleach through its nozzle and somehow playing beer pong without any hands.
For the art-house crowd, who may, I suppose, stumble drunk into the wrong theater after too much Chardonnay, there are nods to "Black Swan" and "127 Hours." Kudos to comedian J.P. Manoux for his excellent impersonation of Vincent Cassel from "Swan," not that "Scary Movie V's" target audience will notice.