Scary Movie saw fit to make fun of the horror genre and unlike several other films that predated it, it was wildly successful and spawned four sequels of variable likeability.
Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) is a direct parody of all of the Final Girls of recent horror films and is hilarious in the process as she tries to survive the machinations of a comedic serial killer. Her boyfriend Bobby Prinze (Jon Abrahams) friends, Buffy Gilmore (Shannon Elizabeth), Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall) and their boyfriends Greg Phillipe (Lochlyn Munroe) and Ray Wilkins (Shawn Wayans) are involved in a (not at all) fatal car crash that leaves one man dead (after they’ve hit him with a bottle, dumped him into the ocean, and left him for dead that is) one year ago from when the main story has opened with the unfortunate death of Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) at the hands of her distracted parents. Sure the killer had a hand in it, what with the breast implant stabbing and all, but she was utterly safe until they hit her with their car and left Drew injured enough for the killer to catch up and kill her.
Surprised by this, Cindy wonders if it has anything to do with the man they had killed one year prior as Drew’s death was on the anniversary of this ridiculous crime. Suddenly they are being stalked by a psychopath who knows what they did last summer. Several scenes from iconic horror movies get a rendition in this, from Rose McGowan’s death in the garage in the original Scream to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s iconic fight or flight from the fisherman in the original I Know What You Did Last Summer. Keep in mind that Sarah Michelle Gellar managed to get killed in both of those franchises around the time Buffy the Vampire Slayer was trying to deconstruct the blonde victim that slasher films tend to go with quite often.
This film is an absolute parody of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer as most of its plot comes from these two films while a smattering of the other details are pulled from various horror films. While the sequels are divisive for one reason or another, my reason stems from the fact that every film after 2 (I enjoy 3 mind you) ignores what worked for the first one. Scary Movie was centered around the plots of the two aforementioned horror films and borrowed tangentially from the others whereas many of the sequels missed the mark on this blending process. The plots worked because they were similar enough that the deviations from one movie to the next made sense. Compare Scary Movie 3 which deviate between The Ring, The Grudge, Signs, and Eight Mile without much care for how these films would work together.
Scary Movie proves that the originals are invariably the best, and this is from a series which parodies films for a living.