Let’s see if I can come up with a joke that is as original as anything in this movie…hmmm… How about “There’s 80 minutes of my life I will never get back.” If you’ve seen any of the “Paranormal Activity” movies then you know what “30 Nights of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is all about. Family moves into a house and they experience strange occurrences so they decide to cover every square inch of the home with video cameras to capture what is going on. From there the creators just had to fill up 80 minutes of running time lampooning every pop culture reference that is still relevant. Add in some homoerotic jokes and some fart jokes and voila, you apparently have a movie ready for mass consumption.
This one hurts. Okay I’ll admit the very first five seconds of the movie were kinda good. It gave me hope that there might be some positives coming at me. But then five seconds later, my hopes were dashed. Every current pop cultural reference you can think of from Groupon to QR Readers, to Bane from Batman being hard to understand (we get it…he’s hard to understand) to Black Swan to a Donald Trump impersonator being a prospective employer. The only real bit that had any potential is when they make fun of the ghost hunters types on TV that in reality are aching to be made fun of. Unfortunately here, it is a squandered opportunity that uses excessive valley-girl talk and homophobic jokes instead of presenting a funny critique of them.
This is a very lazy production. You can tell most of it was ad-libbed, most likely using only one or two takes. There’s a moment where the clock on the camera clearly shows PM when it’s obvious it should be AM. At first you think it might be part of a joke but then you realize that it might just have been the incompetence of the film makers. The dead give away is because it’s night outside and the scene takes place before one that is time stamped at 8 AM. I could go on but we’ll end with this one: There is an elaborate camera set up so every room in the house is documented, however there are scenes that clearly break rules of basic Found Footage cinematography and have camera shots where it doesn’t make sense. Someone who is not part of the scene would have to be operating the handheld camera, even though there is no other person or ghost in the room. I really hope the production team had fun making this film because I’m fairly certain they did not have fun watching it afterwards.
I believe parody movies worked well in the 80’s because it was a novel idea and they were so goofy and original. Movies were also in good hands with good directors that focused on acting. Even though the movies were ridiculous it still required some level of thespianism. They also relied on original material and not parodying pop-culture. The scary movie films in the late 90s started the trend of that. And while that was mildly successful, it was a slippery slope from there. As for these newer parodies, I just don’t understand what the target demographic is for these types of movies. It’s hard R rated material however it only seems like 10-year-olds may laugh at the jokes. I’ll throw that question into the where did Stonehenge come from pile.
“30 Nights…” is presented in a 1.78 aspect ratio. There are many different types of camera views which add up to an inconsistent viewing. Most importantly is that the night time scenes hold up well. It’s far from perfect but perfectly watchable. There is nothing overly jarring in this DVD presentation.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is clear and all dialogue can easily be understood. There is some nice directionality when needed. There is nothing too aggressive about the mix but it does not need to be.
There is one extra and it is a Behind the Scenes look at the making of the movie. Typical bit of an awful movie where actors are praising the director, calling him a genius. Admittingly throwing anything against the wall and seeing what sticks. We all know that crap sticks to walls.
Some interesting tidbits are as follows:
They know some of the jokes are bad but they still populate the movie with them.
The director actually says he knows the genre is not popular but he doesn’t give a s@#t.
I blame the inexpensiveness of shooting with HD cameras nowadays… and actors who are willing to do anything to participate in these movies in hopes of getting discovered. It’s crap and it’s on an older format, DVD. Okay. Recommendation time… Uh… It’s watchable if you have it on in the background while you’re doing chores… like vacuuming…blindfolded. My only hope for this negative review is that it incrementally helps the demise of these films.