Even a pandemic can’t stop Nigel Bach. The prolific creator of the Bad Ben series didn’t let lockdowns, restrictions and isolations stop him from making the 8th movie in the series. A series that begun in 2016, Bach has churned these found footage movies out at an eye-watering pace to mixed results. Some seriously mixed results. Some I’ve really enjoyed, others I’ve really hated. You can read all the reviews of the series so far below.
2016 – Bad Ben
2017 – Steelmanville Road
2017 – Badder Ben: The Final Chapter
2018 – Bad Ben: The Mandela Effect
2018 – The Crescent Moon Clown
2019 – Bad Ben: The Way In
2019 – Bad Ben 7: The Haunted Highway
Credit always to Bach for how he takes a nothing budget and manages to make these movies. However, the Bad Ben well is running dry and Bad Ben Pandemic isn’t his best work. Admirable work considering the situation it was made under but far from a worthy Bad Ben entry.
Bach once again takes on the role of one-time unfortunate house buyer cum-paranormal investigator Tom Riley. The country is in lockdown and paranormal events are at an all time high. Unable to go out and help, Tom has decided to offer his services via video chat. Where he can determine if what people are experiencing is actually paranormal and try to give them advice.
All the calls received are from fans of the Bad Ben series which is a really nice touch and shows the power this franchise has. Of course, this isn’t how the film portrays them. No, they’re people who desperately need the help of Tom Riley and with that in mind the ‘acting’ is very hit & miss. As well as the scares which amount to mostly the same thing – someone running fast at the camera screaming until it cuts. Get used to that, it’s a trick that is used over and over again.
Often the best ones are the ones that go for more subtle reactions such as figures standing in place or doors quietly closing. Unoriginal but still eerie enough to intrigue.
So where does Tom fit into all of these? Well, it’s mostly just him being his cranky self while remarking on what’s possibly paranormal or not. Perhaps this film should have been called ‘Bad Ben Reacts’ as that’s what it really is. Nigel Bach reacting to his fan’s homemade horror videos.
An eye-watering 100+ minutes long, Bad Ben Pandemic massively overstays its welcome. With around 30-40 minutes to go, you’ve seen almost everything the film has to offer. However, even if you can’t be bothered to sit through the rest of the reactions, skip to the credits. Especially if you’re more interested in seeing where the franchise might be going next.
It’s probably the best part of the movie.
It’s not awful, especially considering it was made during the pandemic but it’s not going to go down as the best that the Bad Ben series has to offer.
Bad Ben Pandemic
The Final Score - 4.5/10