Directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans, starring James Woods, Tim Curry, Tori Spelling, Anna Faris, Marlon Wayans, Regina Hall, Chris Elliot and Andy Richter.

Scary Movie 2 is a medley of haunted-house classics from 'The Exorcist' to The Haunting' and 'Poltergeist', with a little bit from some more recent movies thrown in for good measure. With these promising ingredients, an exciting and hilarious sequel to 'Scary Movie' should be expected. Unfortunately, 'Scary Movie 2' fails to deliver the goods.

The film opens with a spoof sequence from 'The Exorcist' featuring James Woods as a somewhat lustful priest appointed to cure Natasha Lyonne who has been possessed by an evil spirit. Filled with an array of jokes including projectile-vomiting, bad toilet gags and fart sounds, the opening is probably the most entertaining sequence of the film.

Following the 'Exorcist' parody, the story jumps to an entirely different setting, totally unrelated to the previous sequence. 'Scary Movie''s heroine Cinday Campbell (Anna Faris) returns as a prospering college student who is sent on a weekend getaway under the guise of an official scientific experiment. Joining her on this college expedition is a group of other students played by an energetic and promising cast – Marlon Wayans, Regina Hall, Tori Spelling, Chris Elliot and Andy Richter.

The film is loaded with terrible jokes. Although self-aware at all times, as any parody should be, 'Scary Movie 2' just can't pull it off. The sequel plays on its own clichés, even mocks its own jokes, but despite the obvious self-parody, it lacks the steady momentum to sustain interest. In fact, the only saving grace of the film is the opening scene. Pity the rest just couldn't keep up.

On the positive side, there are a few good jokes. Unfortunately, these isolated gags fail to compensate for an otherwise tedious film. For fans of 'Scary Movie', the only advice is not to expect much. With this in mind, maybe you won't be too disappointed.

Caroline Earley