It's almost disgusting how easy it is to parody Paranormal Activity. Take a low-quality video camera (it can be HD, don't worry), set it up in asinine stations in your house, shake it a bit, tint the video in a blue/black hue during the night, and add loud, abrupt noises very quickly.
Don't forget to throw in stale humor, redundant "scares," parodies that fall flat on their face, toilet humor, a pudgy lead character who's almost too stupid to function, and don't forget the writing-style that thinks it's the most clever thing out there right now and you have Kevin P. Farley's Paranormal Movie, yet another merciless film parodying an equally merciless franchise. 2013 has been the year of the parody film, with Paranormal Activity being the butt of each film's joke. First we had the completely forgettable, even by typical parody film standards, A Haunted House, followed by Scary Movie V before being met with an assortment of asinine direct-to-DVD parody endeavors such as 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Paranormal Whacktivity (it's so much more mature than its subject already), and now Kevin P. Farley's second directorial effort.
The story follows Larry (Kevin P. Farley who, yes, is the brother of the late Chris Farley) and his wife Katie (Carly Craig), who are being haunted in their house by paranormal occurrences. But when I say "haunted," think things like clowns coming in and dry-humping Katie, a foul-mouthed red-devil who runs around the couples' home, and an array of other things just as nonsensical. Larry and his wife enlist in the help of a flamboyant, internationally-renowned doctor (Eric Roberts) and a reality TV paranormal investigator (John Farley, another man in the Farley family tree) to try and combat the paranormal forces inside their home and take control of their house once more.
One feature of the parody genre I never quite understood goes as followed: if the filmmakers want to seem hip, witty, and clever, shouldn't they make something instead of a parody film? If you want to be seen as smarter or more clever than something that is very popular, the logical thing to do would be make something smarter and more clever - not parody the thing that is more successful. That is the equivalent of playground finger-pointing and childishly impersonating another person.
So Farley goes on, with the same tiresome schtick of being clueless, annoyingly goofy, and ridiculously over the top, only making the paranormal scenes even more intolerable. Writer Lisa Baget lumbers her screenplay from one idiotic setup to the next, hoping to squeeze out something from the audience, be it laughs or patience. During the entire eighty-seven minute excursion (including the credit-cookie, which is, again, a parody of something that has been done to death so many times it isn't even remotely funny anymore), I smiled once. The scene comes late in the game, after Larry has hired an attractive paranormal investigator to the house along with an investigator from reality TV. Both Larry and the TV star pretend to be possessed in front of the attractive investigator, hoping to get lucky. Even if the scene doesn't spark laughter, the fact that it has the ability to make one smile means it really is an abrupt change of pace for the film.
Other than that, Baget's screenplay is total formula, which is even worse in the case that this is a parody film. Parody films often include the element of unpredictability, so even if they are wretched, you really don't know what direction the film will take. In this case, however, I felt one step ahead of the lunacy in Paranormal Movie. Its riffs on the franchise felt expected, its smug attitude something to be endured, its listless agenda and inclusion of a barrage of toilet humor insufferable, and its actors all subjected to bottom-barrel material with no redeeming qualities aside from the refreshing feeling that the film doesn't care that it's awful.
Starring: Kevin P. Farley, Carly Craig, Eric Roberts, and John Farley. Directed by: Kevin P. Farley.