I am, quite probably, the biggest horror wimp of them all. I cried during The Shining, I hid behind a cushion for most of Saw, couldn’t sleep for a week after The Strangers and had a panic attack during The Little Mermaid (I was six, the sea witch was scary; so sue me). All of this meant that it came as a complete surprise when I found myself laughing the entire way through Episode 50 which is, incidentally, one of the most terrible movies ever made. If it hadn’t been for Kieron Elliot’s witty and well-timed performance, I might actually have clawed out my own eyes…
The film starts too suddenly, throwing us into the midst of filming for Episode 49 of Paranomal Investigators. I fiddled around with the remote for a minute, wondering if I’d skipped a scene by mistake, but no. Naively, I thought things might get better as we got down to the purportedly terrifying events of episode 50.
The team, led by Jack (Folan) and Damon (Perry), have been asked to check out the local insane asylum, which is rumoured to be the ‘Gateway to Hell’. Strange murders have happened there over the years, with reports of victims being found with their hearts having literally burst inside their chests. The cause? Fear, obviously. But the team are gagging to get in there and showcase their dazzling repertoire of ghost debunking skills (read: committing various atrocities with a fuse box).
Obviously, this place IS haunted. Some clues for the audience include: astral projection, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, corpses climbing out of boxes, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trans-mediums, mysterious voices, flickering lights and ritualistic dead wasps. But the team still push for a logical solution. Because they are, quite frankly, complete idiots.
When Natalie Wetta is dragged off by a ghost and strapped into a hospital gurney for an amateur dose of painful electroshock therapy, nobody seems all that bothered. She was just being careless, really. And when the psychic has her genitalia ripped apart by a spectral sex offender, we get a few dramatic sighs. Possibly someone shakes their head sadly. But that’s it. There’s no ‘JESUS CHRIST, SHE DIED BEING EATEN OUT BY A F*CKING GHOST MURDERER THING!!! SHOULD WE LEAVE?!?! I THINK WE SHOULD PROBABLY LEAVE…’
Yet, with all the potentially horrifying aspects, nothing about this movie is particularly scary, mainly because the acting is so poor that you literally don’t care if the characters live or die. In fact, you want them to die. Especially the girl who decides to wander off to a dark library for research purposes., all on her ownsome; does she think she’s Buffy or something? The only person I gave a damn about was Kieron Elliott, who is extraordinarily likeable and, on the whole, very sensible. He sure as hell doesn’t stick around when the serial killer ghost makes its first appearance and starts shifting around the bodies of dead wasps, but do we blame him for his hasty getaway? Not at all. Save yourself Kieron. Save yourself from this TRAVESTY of a movie!
Apparently Folan’s character has some kind of back story; sadly, we don’t know what it is. There are hints that he witnessed a demon with tendencies towards arson, but, to be honest, they only dropped this in five seconds before the finale, I suppose to add a bit of drama. And, speaking of the finale, please be prepared for, quite possibly, the grossest misuse of CGI ever seen in cinema. I won’t spoil the plot by telling you exactly what happens but, let’s face it, whatever it is you’ll wish it didn’t.
I obviously can’t physically prevent you from viewing Episode 50; however, when you come away feeling wildly dissatisfied, don’t come crying to me. I’m never too busy to pull myself away from whatever important task I’m carrying out to throw a well-timed ‘I told you so’ in your direction…