Directed by David Zucker, starring Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Anderson, Leslie Nielsen, Regina Hall, Camryn Manheim, Simon Rex, George Carlin, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, DL Hughley, Denise Richards, Ja Rule and Simon Cowell.

Although credibility is the last thing any spoof is seeking, don't write this one off as merely a dumb-witted 'no-brainer' because of the last below-par outing of the 'Scary Movie' gang. Third time 'round 'Scary Movie', under spoof-king David Zucker's influence, brings us buckets of giggles and cleverly chooses to send up movies that offer huge comic potential, with '8 Mile', 'The Ring', 'Signs', 'The Sixth Sense' and 'The Matrix' all featured.

Anna Faris holds the humour together as she once again portrays Cindy Campbell, now a local television news reporter, who is sent to check out bizarre happenings in Tom Logan's (Sheen) crop field.  But Cindy would much rather be investigating a juicier story, as she learns of a mysterious videotape inhabited by a zombie girl intent on killing. The plot thickens. 

As the 'storyline' unfolds Cindy embarks on solving the videotape mystery herself, with some help from Tom Logan's gormless younger brother and wannabe rapper George (Rex), who provides much of the humour as a white-boy vying for acceptance in the 'hood. Cindy's best friend Brenda (Hall) also returns, stealing many of the comic moments, as she falls victim to the beast of the killer videotape in dramatic style.

Aside from the well-matched pairing of Anna Faris and Simon Rex, the cameos are what complete the third instalment. Here Queen Latifah, Leslie Nielsen, Pamela Anderson, Simon Cowell and Eddie Griffin offer a tirade of silly gags and satirical action, as they mimic psychics, US presidents, 'schoolgirls' and 'rap idol' judges, tackling everything from possessed children to alien invasions.  

'Scary Movie 3' attempts to be more risqué that its predecessors with a particularly funny Michael Jackson gag treading on very thin ice. As horror spoofs go, this one was worth the wait, and easily surpasses the weak offering provided by 'Scary Movie 2', which seems to have been overly rushed to cash in on the success of the first movie. This one has taken its time and sparks with much denser humour.

Concentrating on 'Signs' and 'The Ring' predominantly, 'Scary Movie 3' pulls the best parts of these thrillers together, adding random but easily picked-up laughs from the range of other films it draws from. Good use of exaggerated flashback and pointless cutaways make the most of the tangled storylines, injecting more slapstick humour to the package. A definite improvement on the last performance.

Linda McGee