Isaacs Picture Conclusions

EPISODE 50 (2011) TWO TOP HATS

I had some time to kill the other day so I flipped through the cable provider’s list of new HD horror on demand and came across this which had got fooled by a good looking trailer involving some “found footage” gimmickry inside an abandoned lunatic asylum (that’s what it is called repeatedly in the movie). For some reason I don’t think these institutions are called that any longer but it’s referred to by that term quite a bit and it probably shouldn’t bother me but it did – and, honestly, I don’t want to flat out dog this movie because I think they tried but this had a bunch of problems that irritated me. Now – in no way do I consider myself a “Found Footage Purist” or something dumb like that and I think we all are pretty tired of that shtick, but occasionally something comes along dragging through the found-footage-slime Paranormal Activity left behind that’s actually decent, like Lake Mungo or The Tunnel, so it can still be effective if done well (and here I open myself up to public shame and humiliation because I actually really liked Paranormal 3). So, with those words written, here are some of the things that I didn’t quite get with “Episode 50”:

  • For a “lunatic asylum” that’s been abandoned for a long number of years and is the “most haunted site in the United States”, this place sure is spotless and clean and those papers in the basement sure are crisp and filed nicely…  do those demons do a bunch of mopping and dusting and window cleaning and Brasso-ing up poles?
  • Towards the end, when they figure out where that portal to Hell is, the Scott Stapp asshole preacher guy (Keithen Hergott) runs off by himself and yet we have “found footage” of him busting into that jail by himself? Huh?
  • Similarly, when our two leads Jack and Damon (Josh Folan and Chris Perry) bust into the building, why would there be footage of them rushing in where the camera man is on the inside? Did they stop in this race against time and let the camera guy in and then film them busting in like they own the place?
  • Why is there helicopter footage of them racing from the lunatic asylum to the jail?
  • Why is there a musical score for this? Why is it playing constantly? I get that this is a reality show so is the concept that after the producers “found this footage” they went ahead and did all of the post production work? Whaaaat?
  • Why is Jose (Robert Maisonett) SO HAPPY all of the time?
  • Is it really even believable that when they get to the portal to hell and there’s a demon standing there that the camera man didn’t shit his pants and run off instead of keep on filming everything?
  • Did he really just pick up that crucifix and yell “By the power of Christ “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK YOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!!!!!

I know I said I didn’t want to dog these guys who made this and I think I just did but this isn’t that bad, it’s just got its problems, like we all do. I liked the look of the thing – very crisp and clean and colorful and the makeup department (or person) did a great job (especially on that poor woman’s eye) and I liked the ladies who played Lysette (Eleanor Wilson) and Andi (Natalie Wetta) but I thought the acting was rather, um, “forced” by everyone else. Maybe they were all really acting their asses off but I didn’t get into it very much. Oh well, there you go. There are definitely worse things to spend your time with.

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