The (Not So) Grand Finale

Episode 50 is the story of two rival groups of paranormal investigators spending a night or to in a famously haunted asylum.  Yes.  Another haunted asylum.  It seems every asylum in America is haunted, based on the number of movies that use that plot.

Anyways, we are introduced Team A.  They are investigating a haunting, after giving some hints of the paranormal, the team reveals that there is no haunting going on at all.  The couple who called them in are mistaking natural phenomena for a haunting.  See, Team A is Team Skeptic.  They debunk supposed hauntings.  They are called in to disprove rumors about an abandoned asylum.

When they arrive, they meet Team B- going forward?  Team Jesus.  Because the rival team are not just vague believers in the paranormal.  They are super devoted Christians who believe hauntings are demonic in nature.  They (or at least their leader) want to prove the supernatural is real so people cannot deny it any longer.

Begrudgingly, Team Skeptic and Team Jesus agree work together. The leader of Team Jesus is a bit of a condescending jerk.  When Team Skeptik consents to share the feed, the offer to put up the cameras.  His response is a rather smarmy “See?  Was that so hard?”  Then he tells his crew they should go get lunch, since Team Skeptic volunteered to do all the work.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear the asylum is haunted and the teams have communicated with something rather malevolent.  By the end, there are some deaths, Team Skeptic is totally converted to Team Believer, and Team Skeptic Turned Believer’s leader sacrifices himself to close a portal to hell via faith.

The film is not really foundfootage.  While they include a lot of interview snippets with the characters who explain stuff for us, there is clearly many sequences with an omnicient “third camera”.  The confusing thing is, the film also relies heavily on cameras being used within the story, which can get confusing.

Another problem is a mostly unlikeable group of characters.  Team Skeptic are prone to being annoying know-it-alls, while Team Jesus are comprised of self righteous jerks.  It would have helped the film greatly two have both teams be amiable and likeable troups that have some tension over their differences in goals.

The film also lacks real tension.  For one thing, it is quickly reveals the asylum is haunted-well in advance of the characters confirming it.  So, we do not get an opportunity to see Team Skeptic seriously appear to debunk anything without knowing they are fools.

The end is almost embarrassingly hokey.  There is guy with horns in front of a gate to hell (!) that has a flaming pentagram on it (in case the viewer does not realize it is a gate to hell).  And the lead of Team Skeptic/Believer gathers up his faith and tackles the gate shut.

The effects run from decent to painful CGI.  The ghosts are nothing we have not seen before.  They move with jerk movements, contort they bodies and give cameras the evil eye.

I would also note that the asylum, though apparently not in use, appears to be kept up very nicely with working computers, full electric and clean floors.

Overall, the film fails to offer many scares, treading very worn territory both with it’s gimmick (reality show) and it’s setting(really, how many horror films are there that are set in a haunted asylum?  A few to many).

Oh yeah, there needs to be a moretorium on the cliche that somebody gets killed via electroshock therapy in horror movies that take place in asylums.

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