Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Review Tuesday: the BAD BEN series

"Found footage" films are a thing. They are cheap and fast to produce, so this guy Nigel Bach whipped out FIVE movies in the Bad Ben series over the course of three years. Since I didn't post a review last week, here's a fiver for you!

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BAD BEN (2016)
When a man buys a house to flip, he gets more than he bargained for.
Nigel Bach stars and directs this found footage movie. He plays Tom Riley, an odd looking man with an annoying voice who invested all his money in a house from a Sheriff's auction to flip. Over the coming days his actions within the house cause paranormal situations to occur. The trouble is that so many things are going on, you don't really know what's the cause of his troubles. Then some THING drags him off in the end. 

Kinda annoying but short. Not bad if you have time to waste on stupidity. This falls in the realm of "so bad it starts getting good." ... almost...

A young couple buys a house and gets more than they bargained for.
This is a prequel. A couple inherits the house from a long lost relative. The events over the next YEAR turn deadly. 

This movie fills in a great amount of the missing information from the first film. There isn't a single entity haunting this house, but multiple! So it's all sorted out and you think you have it straight, then the guide goes and pulls a perfidious move that leaves you wondering, what is going on here?!?! 

Abrupt and disjointed, this is a semi-cohesive story, yet required watching in order to have a better understanding of the original.

Tom Riley turns out to be alive and returns to the house with a camera crew. 
Apparently Tom Riley wasn't killed by Bad Ben in the first movie. He was just broke and left homeless after he was unable to flip the house so he was homeless, living in the nearby woods. A film crew discovered his existence and convinced him to return to the house one more time and stay the night. Hilarity ensues. 

This movie was possibly the most entertaining of the bunch. Nigel seems to have had some sort of a budget to work with and got a bunch of people involved. Better special effects and a funny ending kinda firmly places this in the good/bad movie zone. If you watched the first, certainly watch this one.  

 A collection of possible variations of the original movie. 
The Mandela Effect is a name given to the phenomenon of the collective misremembering of specific facts or events. This comes from the conspiracy theory of people recalling that Nelson Mandela had died in prison years ago and that it was an imposter who emerged years later. So pervasive is this concept that they even had an episode of The X-Files about it recently. With this concept in mind Nigel Bach went back to the original story but played around with what may have happened after he took possession of the house. There must be about a half dozen skits with alternate endings to Tom Riley's unfortunate real estate acquisition. Since they are all fairly short you can breeze though it all reasonably quick and actually LIKE this work. 

The latest occupant experiences strange things on her first night in the house.
Recently this FIFTH installment in the BAD BEN franchise came out. The house has a new family living in it. This movie documents Renee's (Jhetta Tione Anderson) first night in her new home. Of course, she's alone. When strange things start to occur, she assumes it's all just practical jokes. 

This was, by far, the most disappointing movie in the series. The character Renee basically keeps wandering though the house shutting and locking windows and doors, while strange things keep happening. It never occurs to her to call the cops. 

Someone in the house? 

Plus there is SO MUCH going on. Bad Ben is assumed to be running around. The demon is making noises. You see ghost evidence on-screen. There's a clown running around with an axe. There was just so much going on and nothing happening. It was getting pretty boring until Tom Riley shows up to save the day. Too bad he couldn't save this movie. This was easily the worst of the five films.    

More info on IMDB

You can find them all on AMAZON