And scraping the bottom of the Blair Witch / Paranormal Activity barrel I find this film, grinning idiotically up at me, just waiting to consume 90 minutes of my life.
You know, I admit it, I'm a sucker for these kind of horror films. So I probably deserve it when some celluloid creature like this shambles out of the dark and takes a bite out of me. But, seriously, when someone has an idea for a movie - shouldn't they, you know, kind of flesh it out? Think it through a few times? Am I being too demanding here? "Episode 50" follows two teams of "psychic investigators", one secular and one religious, into one of those "most haunted place on Earth" places (of which there are several hundred or so if you watch these kind of TV shows), in this case an old mental hospital. There's lots of back story concerning the team members, which is constantly being introduced until practically the very last frame of the film. There's lots happening, with each team presenting conflicting reasons for the ghostly goings on.
And there's practically no coherent overall idea of the film.
The flimmakers here want to use the "found footage" format AND have their scary background music too. They want to scare us WITHOUT building up tension. They want to slip in a cute little religious message AND have it taken seriously. Heck, the probably want to lose weight by eating ice cream and get rich buying real estate with no money down.
Mix the half-baked, nearly incoherent film style with some egregiously bad acting and out pops a film that makes "Return to Pontianak" look like "Silence of the Lambs." Seriously, the most horrible thing about this film is that I spent time watching it. Don't make that mistake. Save yourselves!
I saw a brief trailer for this and I must admit I was enticed. A 'something went wrong' real-cam style horror has become big business since the Blair Witch truly terrified us in the 90s, and now plenty of 'found footage' efforts are to be found.
I honestly didn't have a clue what it was about, but the opening 15 minutes revealed it was about a 'Most Haunted' style TV show in which the presenters 'debunk' alleged hauntings. The first segment sees them do exactly that but Episode 50 turns out to be the last in the series...and it never made it to screen, because something went hideously wrong.
Unfortunately, the only thing which really went wrong was how badly this mess was put together. There was an underlying nugget of decent story, and there was even a loose attempt at a plot twist, but the problem with Episode 50 is it's simply hard to take seriously.
It's like a student project movie.
Yes, this is low budget, and yes, you have to account for that, but there really is no excuse for the agonising 'acting' throughout while forced (poor) special effects simply get in the way.
The actual direction isn't all that bad but another problem is that for a horror film, it isn't remotely scary. It is almost as if it isn't trying to be, and instead is trying to be some sort of ghost story with a religious overtone which gets thrown in the viewers' face every 2 minutes.
As for the music, another reviewer got it spot on - what in God's name was simpering piano doing in the background? This movie didn't need any music, but it got there anyway and ruined moments which were already pretty bad anyway.
And then a random Scotsman (from River City no less) shows up in a kilt, acts like he's on LSD, then leaves the room.
A badly conceived film which had a reasonable idea, but neither the budget, the cinematography, the acting, nor the production values were able to realise it.
Thats what i did...i saw this on the shelf and picked it up, the cover image was enticingly disturbing, a well worn through story idea but these kinds of horrors never get old if done right. But sadly, this one wasn't.
From the word go you see some of the shoddiest acting available in any movie today, a laughable "captured footage" scene of the team debunking case 49 and then even more laughable acting as they get their next job.
I think what makes this film even worse is it's use of music. If your going to do a film like this, there shouldn't BE any music other than the slightly ominous background tones to set the scene, you certainly don't need plinking, heartfelt piano music every time you have someone crying on another team members shoulder!!
I wanted this movie to be good. I really did! I enjoyed movies like The Last Exorcism, the Paranormal Activity's, and other documentary-style cinematography films. The character development is extremely slow and the acting is borderline horrendous. The special effects could have been much better! I generally enjoy low-budget films and can usually overlook mediocre acting. Unfortunately, this was tested my tolerance for both. I did make myself finish the film hoping the end would justify the effort of making myself sit through it. Not so much. In a nutshell, a wealthy gentleman sends two teams, with opposing views/opinions (one scientifically driven and the other spiritually motivated) into a haunted insane asylum and wants to see what they find. Sounds like a pretty legit plot to me. I was in! This is as good as it got for me.....the plot. I was very displeased with this movie.