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Episode 50 ( 2011 ) – Debunking Paranormal Videos

 

Episode 50 ( 2011 ) - Debunking Paranormal Videos

Episode 50 is a Found Footage horror that bases itself around a team of paranormal investigators debunking paranormal videos. The cover of the film was really impressive – what about the rest of the film?

Why Bother?

On September 16, 2011 a truly pitiful Found Footage film was released that reminded the horror community why this genre is disliked by so many people.

Episode 50 was not an enjoyable experience for me and I doubt very much it will be an enjoyable experience for you either!

Before I go any further I should point out that this is not the actors fault – they did their best to ‘carry the can’ on this one but they were not given much to work with.

If you are looking for another cheap camcorder run through the forest full of frights and atmosphere then I’m afraid this mess is not for you!

The effects department seem to have had the last word on this film leaving the screenplay and the direction pretty much out at sea.

One can only hope the directors ( Tess Smalley and Joe Smalley ) learn from this experience before they try their hand out at Found Footage again.

The Plot

So the plot isn’t really that bad – it’s the execution and blank holes that nails it!

We have a group of paranormal investigators who have made themselves famous by debunking paranormal videos. Whilst other TV shows aim to convince the viewer of the existence of ghosts these guys aim to prove otherwise.

They have so far released 49 successful episodes and this will be their 50th. For their 50th episode they are joined by a rival group of paranormal investigators who are set on proving that spirits DO exist.

It’s not a bad idea for a film is it? I was quite upbeat about it when I got through the introduction section of the film ( that most Found Footage efforts seem to contain ). What happened to The Camera work?

What Happened to The Camera?

The first alarm bells started ringing when I casually noticed we were sliding in and out of Found Footage filming – this is always a big ‘no go’ area for me!

The film cuts to normal shots of the actors, shot third person, fly on the wall style, as you would see with any other film. Why would you choose to do this? What do you think it does to the atmosphere you’ve created?

I kept on suddenly realizing we had slipped back into ‘normal’ filming mode and it really threw me off key. It alerted me to the fact that I was not in for the camcorder thrill ride I was looking for….then came the effects…

CGI Cures All

No I’m afraid CGI does not cover up holes in a film no matter how hard you try. We get ‘treated’ to an overload of spooky CGI shadows and ghosts travelling down various corridors. It seems the filmmakers thought relying on this type of scene would help carry the film through to the end – WRONG!

As I mentioned above the actors were trying there best here and you have to feel sorry for them. The story descended into childish madness then the effects came in and made the whole experience even more of a mess.

I don’t want to throw out any spoilers but the last five to ten minutes were hilarious – what the f**k was happening? I don’t know ( and I doubt you will either! ).

Conclusion

Dear, dear me! This did initially show a little bit of promise and the actors obviously had faith in the screenplay – what happened?

I hate using this site to slate films and I try not to do it very often but I have to be honest in my review process…..this was not good!

There are quite a lot of poor Found Footage efforts out there and I’m afraid this joins that category. They tried to get things right but only ended up in getting things very. very wrong.

There is hope however – the story and the idea were really good. This is something for the filmmakers to cling onto. We only progress in life by learning by our mistakes so let’s hope the two directors do just that.

Debunking paranormal videos should be a fun experience – this was not fun!

Chris

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