‘Based on true events… that may not have happened’
30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2013 American comedy horror film written and directed by Craig Moss (The Charnel House) for Silver Nitrate productions.
Ashley Martin, Austin Michael Scott, Heidi Kramer, Pickles Moss, Alissa Kramer, Melissa Fosse-Dunne, Stephen Kramer Glickman, Kathryn Fiore, French Stewart, Ryan Slater, Gary Carlos Cervantes, Rene Diamente, Flip Schultz, Olivia Alexander, Arturo del Puerto.
After living in a psychiatric hospital, Dana (Kathryn Fiore) along with her husband, Aaron (Flip Schultz) attempt to move into their new house where her father (French Stewart) has murdered the entire cast of The Artist during his exorcism.
Dana finds herself dealing with various others who live in the house, including an evil spirit and a teenage daughter (Olivia Alexander) who is infatuated with their neighbour Abraham Lincoln (Ben Morrison)…
There hasn’t been a Scary Movie franchise entry for a few years, but those of you who are saddened by that are in luck – you can now get your carer to pick up a copy of this cumbersomely-named atrocity to fill the horror spoof and fart joke void.
At it’s core, this is a spoof of the Paranormal Activity films, opening up with two girls discovering a ‘found footage’ VHS tape that they then watch (it’s certainly been a bad couple of weeks for films where this happens).
The unfolding story follows Dana Rosti (Kathryn Fiore), her husband Aaron (Flip Schultz), Dragon Tattoo rebellious teenage daughter Liz (Olivia Alexander) and baby son as they move into a haunted house. Ghost hunters turn up to investigate, Liz falls in love with next door neighbour Abraham Lincoln, the spirit tries to drive them out and Dana shoots a documentary about her crazy father who is institutionalised after killing the cast of The Artist (dog included).
Within this basic structure, the film throws in a barrage of satirical visual references, to a whole bunch of recent movies, reality TV shows and commercials that all depend on awareness of the source material to make any sense. So if you don’t watch shows like The Bachelor or The Apprentice, the US TV ads that are shown in the middle of them or whatever vapid blockbuster has played theatres in the last year – in other words, if your tastes stretch even slightly beyond the lowest common denominator – then half the references will be lost on you anyway.
Of course, by making all these references, the film is hardly aiming at having any longevity – who will even remember half the crap it’s spoofing this time next year? But then, I imagine writer / director Craig Moss knows only too well that this is a smash and grab film, aiming to make as much money as it can quickly before the word spreads about how utterly, utterly dreadful this is.
The sad thing is that satire has a long a noble tradition, and films like Airplane! have shown that you can mock movie conventions and cultural memes with wit and intelligence. This film has neither. Even the lousiest comedy can usually inspire the odd laugh, or at least cause the occasional smile. Not here. This is so cack-handed, so utterly uninspired and so hatefully cynical that you’ll find yourself staring stoney-faced at the screen until you reach the point of turning it off.
With a collection of awful, mugging performances (first rule of satire – play it straight to get laughs) and jokes that run the gamut from literal toilet humour to gags about taboo subjects – this is like being stuck in the head of a mentally deficient adolescent boy trying to shock his parents. Awful beyond imagination.
David Flint, Horrorpedia
“To call the brand of comedy on display “broad” would be disrespectful to the comparative subtlety of Jerry Lewis or Leslie Nielsen. The gags simply don’t stop coming either, an inundation of rapid-fire juvenile fart and pop culture jokes that land with a thud at a startling ratio. Somewhere buried underneath all of the terrible references and non-sequiturs are maybe one or two chuckles that weren’t elicited without a fair amount of shame and guilt.” Kevin Scott, Exclaim
“The only segment of film I could even smirk at showed the Ghost Brothers, our mindless paranormal investigators that just run around with head cameras on and claim everything is a ghost, but even their stoner-esque charm wears off after about thirty seconds. Yes, out of an hour and twenty minute screenplay, I’m able to find only thirty seconds of mild amusement.” Matt Donato, We Got This Covered
Los Angeles, California, USA