The film begins with the previous episode of PI: Paranormal Inspectors where we are introduced to the team debunking the ghoulish goings on of a couple’s house. Unfortunately, the PI team realise that these strange occurrences are attributed to rats in the attic and the fact that the husband had left the lids off of the paint; therefore they were seeing ‘ghosts’. After the faux episode, Jack, played by Josh Folan, and Damon, played by Chris Perry, the JD and Turk of ghost hunting get a call to meet a crime lord (?) who gives them the chance to film their 50th special at the West Virginia Insane Asylum.
Episode 50 really doesn’t settle into itself and from its beginning we’re shown randomly placed faux interviews with ‘doctors’ and ‘physiatrists,’ I presume.
Also, its style is somewhat confused with Joe and Tess Smalley not committing to the feel that the director seems to be going for. This is one of the major flaws as it becomes jarring for the audience and makes it even harder for you to get to know the already boring characters.
The directors throw in different styles of filmmaking. I thought this was supposed to be a ‘found footage’ ordeal? Instead we are shown standard film making techniques – as if we were watching a straight narrative film with the camera getting shots from different angles and they don’t relate to the ‘found footage’ style. All of a sudden we’ll have the characters talking to the camera and they’re in the middle of filming their episode, then back to a long shot of the corridor they’re in.
When the investigation begins we’re also introduced to the team’s rivals, an extremely religious… and annoying crew. This idea had the potential to be very interesting and could have added a decent layer and built up mystery and suspense. However, as they all enter the asylum things become messy as the crews all split up. There are some spooky moments and the directors had an interesting idea of showing and sometimes hiding the horror through interference with the tape. It works well, in the beginning, then, like most things in this film. It becomes rather annoying. The suspense quickly falls and we’re left with the wooden acting of the two rival teams bickering.
Unfortunately, for Episode 50, it really doesn’t deliver on much. It’s worth a watch if you’re interested in the Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch Project straight-to-DVD films, but really, this one does fall to the bottom of the barrel.
Watch it out of curiosity, especially for the ending where things go a bit different, but do not expect a suspense fuelled thrill ride as it doesn’t live up to the expectations of even the average horror films.