Despite being thoroughly disappointed with the sequel, I figure we should take a look at the final chapter of the Bad Ben universe.
This time around we follow some paranormal investigators who are looking into the property. Tom Riley does make an appearance, which is nice, but there isn’t a lot new here. It seems like this film was made in an attempt to round out the story rather than add anything new.
The investigators are kind of idiots, and by kind of, I mean it is surprising they could operate a motor vehicle to find the house. The acting is horrible, and the return of Tom (which undermines the first film) is not enough to make up for this. The worst thing a sequel can do is hurt the original, and this one does so. By altering the narrative trajectory things don’t seem to matter anymore.
The sheer stupidity of the characters makes the film objectively painful to watch. I know I am harping on this, but this one really creates a void of entertainment. Tom is still kind of funny, but the other terrible characters don’t allow him any room to shine. The humor is dumber, and this is a trend that has continued from the second film. Immature and cheesy instead of deadpan seems to be the name of the game here.
The film is slow, and that is a feat in itself as it is only 80 minutes long. I suppose it does have some charms, and fans of the series might enjoy revisiting the old haunts, but there is nothing new here. It feels more like a behind the scenes film than a new narrative, and the behaviors of the characters are surprisingly repetitive. Each of the investigators are written as one dimensional, and their interactions follow a formulaic track—over and over. David (the film director) is a dickhead who is mean to Tom, and then we have to diffuse the situation until David is a dickhead again…
The camera work is lacking a little bit here. We have less footage from security cams, so shaky movement and weird angles are more common this time around. The quality of film also seems to be a bit weaker—the edges are fuzzy this time. I’m not sure if they used different cameras or if this is a result of handhelds. It isn’t too distracting though—if you like the first two films this one won’t seem that much different from the technical angle.
The best part of the film is that Tom still does not seem to give a shit about decorum. He still taunts the ghosts, seems bored, and just makes the film oddly watchable. If it was just his show again, it would have been a lot better. For every charming moment there are two annoying ones. The film just can’t keep its footing as it goes. For mega fans of the first two this might be worth a watch. Otherwise, this one is just an exercise in repetition. 3/10