After a stint in a psychiatric hospital, a young woman returns to the house where her father killed the entire cast of The Artist during his exorcism.
It is almost impossible to imagine that you would ever remember the Scary Movie franchise with fondness but that is exactly what I found myself doing while watching 30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (for the remainder of this review I will simply call it 30 Nights). That troubled me immensely from the start.
There is little point in providing a plot summary as there is actually little plot to speak of. What story there is exists simply to link together the various set pieces that writer and director Craig Moss has thought up, presumably in the hope of providing some humour. As with all spoofs of this type any film that is big enough or famous enough to provide a cultural reference is fair game. The main focus here is on Paranormal Activity 2; the family, house and security camera footage are all included but the main problem is that they are used in an almost like for like fashion. There is no sense of originality at all. That may seem like a strange thing to say but it means that all of the gags are predictable and tiresome, as if you’ve seen them all before somewhere. For a spoof to work it needs to have some familiarity but it also needs to cleverly parody the source material and 30 Nights just doesn’t do that.
More problems arise from the films that are lampooned. For this to be considered a horror film, or a horror spoof, the bulk of the productions used as inspiration should be of that genre. 30 Nights ignores this and we have references from The Dark Night Rises and The Hunger Games, as well as the thriller named in the actual title. A result of this is that the main film is messy and confused. It felt more like a comedy sketch show than an actual film and there was simply no structure at all, and if a good idea was thought up it was then milked for all its worth. Some of the jokes are also in slightly poor taste such as the inclusion of one based upon a character’s Apple obsession that features an embalmed Steve Jobs.
The cast performances are generally poor but I would apportion more blame to the script than to the individuals involved. At times I felt a great deal of sympathy for the actors given some of the lines they were asked to deliver with a straight face. It is as though they don’t really have any confidence in the film and are just going through the motions in the hope that it will all soon be over.
In my opinion 30 Days is neither funny nor scary and is best avoided at all costs. However I watched this with someone and they laughed on several occasions. This was a normal, educated person and yet they still found the film entertaining. So maybe there is something here I’m missing, maybe there is a market for a poorly conceived, tasteless, unfunny comedy spoof. I hope not.
30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2013)