Paranormal Parody is a pretty funny send up of Oren Peli’s found footage horror flick Paranormal Activity. You would be well-advised to watch it (both films, actually), particularly if 1) you enjoyed Peli’s film and 2) you have a soft spot for curvaceous redheads.
For the benefit of the two people in the world who are not familiar with Paranormal Activity, allow me to catch you up. An attractive young couple feel they are being haunted by a malicious spectral being. The rather dim-witted but well-meaning boyfriend buys a camera hoping to catch on film evidence of their haunting and use the footage to… well, I don’t recall what he thought he would accomplish with such footage. In his efforts to help his girlfriend, he seems to anger the spirit, ultimately leading to an expected, yet chilling conclusion.
Movie fans are split when it comes to assessing the quality of Peli’s movie. Personally, I loved the first PA. The scares worked for me, right down to the controversial ending (supposedly suggested by Steven Spielberg). The two leads, virtual unknowns, did a knockout job, even vaulting Katie Featherstone to temporary stardom. Oren Peli has gotten rich with a Paranormal Activity franchise, produced the excellent (and rather spooky) ghost flick Insidious, and produced the disappointing television series The River.
Paranormal Parody stars Kristen Kakos and Benjamin Euphrats as the Katie/Micah couple. Kristen, like Katie Featherstone, exhibits a slightly concealed sexiness that is used to hilarious effect throughout the film (essentially, the demon haunting Kristen is a manifestation of a secret porn past looking to come back to life… see, my reference to her being a curvy redhead has merit). Ben nails the clueless boyfriend role. He’s every bit as annoying and worthless as Micah. Kristen and Ben have nice comedic chemistry that gives the film an added spark.
Any good parody will poke fun at its subject’s flaws for comedic effect while showing obvious regard and respect for the source material. Director C.J. Goodman smartly sends up some of the more egregious plot points and several of PA’s iconic scenes. Ben is obsessed with buying a Ouija Ball (in the original, Micah is obsessed with buying a Ouija Board that pisses off the demon). Kristen wakens at night and stands over the bed for hours (in a chuckle-worthy setup, she keeps trying to stand over him, but he keeps tossing and turning away). Ben dusts the floor with talcum powder that the demon mistakes for cocaine (okay, it is much funnier than it sounds, I promise). Our hapless couple seeks assistance from ghost psychics. Goodman even films several conclusions, and makes hilarious use of an unlikely inflatable doll prop in the movie’s final moments!
It must be noted that Kakos and Euphrats do a solid job… right on par with Featherstone and Sloat. Kristen and Ben even live in a nicer house!
The extras include a rather weird set of interviews with the stars, a pretty decent running commentary, and a funny trailer for the film that is included below.
If you’re a fan of Peli’s original, then you’re going to find enough laughs in Paranormal Parody to make it worth your rental or purchase. It’s only $9.99. Go ahead, treat yourself. You deserve to be amused for 85 minutes!