30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2013)
Despite the fact that the title breaks our site a little bit, I watched this horror spoof without prejudice. After recently watching Superhero Movie and being surprised how funny and charming it was, I thought that perhaps my blanket avoidance of all spoofs after Scary Movie 2 has been unfounded. Or has it?
The short answer is apparently no.
Starting off with that one fake Skittles advert that went viral a couple of years ago – you know the one with the guy jizzing skittles all over his bride – 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the woefully unfunny story of a family being haunted by a horny ghost and some lazy references to recent successful movies and television.
Packed tightly with “oh look it’s that person” style comedy intermingled with extended fart jokes, even concepts that should be funny fall completely flat in the context of this movie. For instance, writing the sentence “Donald Trump sharting his pants” brings a sort of wry smile to my face. Sure, it’s not Oscar Wilde but it has its place. Within this film, it’s just not funny. Same goes for the constant barrage of “celebrity” faces. I just fail to see the comedy in it. Oh, Adele isn’t thin, is that funny? Bane was hard to understand in the non-IMAX version of The Dark Knight Rises? Well done for pointing that out, movie, I don’t think anyone else noticed. Paula Deen? Just the mere mention of her name is supposed to illicit some sort of mirthful reaction. It’s comedy for the TMZ generation. Maybe the folks who troll paparazzi sites for nip slips and close-ups of cellulite might find this sort of thing funny but I definitely don’t.
Some of the examination and spoofing of genre conventions – particularly those in the current crop of found footage flicks – are entirely spot on. Unfortunately, it’s nothing that any fan of the movies being lampooned haven’t already discussed and derived their own private humour from. Why do people insist on continuing to film these events? Insert your own joke here, I guarantee it will be at least as funny as anything in this movie.
My biggest bone of contention with 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that a sizable chunk of the supposed humour comes from very unfunny places. I counted at least three jokes specifically about date rape, three moments where a big fart was the punchline, and also some very dubious attitudes to female sexuality. Sometimes comedy comes from the breaking of taboos. That doesn’t mean that jokes about overtly gay Latino housekeepers are inherently hilarious, no matter how many Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunters they rape.
There might well be an audience out there for 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There could be thousands of hungry spoof fans waiting to catch a glimpse of someone dressed as a celebrity whilst a fart noise plays over the soundtrack. I’m more inclined to believe that this is bottom-of-the-bargain-bucket fayre with very little to redeem it.
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