Taking its cues from franchises of old in regards to calling itself ‘The Final Chapter’ when it really isn’t, Badder Ben (terrible title) is the third movie in the Bad Ben series. It continues the story set up in the original and is a direct sequel to that movie.
After a satisfying if uninspired start with Bad Ben in 2016, the follow up film Steelmanville Road was a prequel that completely fumbled the ball. You can read our reviews for those below.
Bringing writer/director/actor Nigel Bach back in a starring role (Tom Riley), Badder Ben has both him and us make our return to the house on Steelmanville Road for another round with the demonic/ghostly forces inside.
Yes it’s more of the same ghostly shenanigans but in an interesting change of pace, this sequel goes for the comedy horror route. Surprised? Well, how about the fact that while many of the ‘jokes’ fail to land, some are legitimately amusing. Such as Tom’s inability to stop swearing when on film.
Why does it matter if he’s swearing on film? Well, the plot of the film sees paranormal investigators hunt him down to try and get his story for their show. Having lost all his money with the house, Tom is convinced to return to it on the promise of a big pay check.
Of course once back inside the house, the ghostly goings-on quickly ramp up. Tom being back in the house has awoken the evil inside, will any of them escape this time?
Yawn. What a pointless sequel this is. The concept of getting Tom’s side of the story would be interesting if we hadn’t seen that side of the story in the first film! The one part we don’t know, the ending when he got dragged into the basement, is glossed over and we’re still none the wiser in regards to how he escaped.
When not spending mindless minutes chatting about nothing and the same things over and over again, the group move from room to room pretending to be scared of cheap and uneventful scare attempts. What Badder Ben: The Final Chapter has to offer was tired way before the original Bad Ben was released. Here it all feels so forced and lazy.
The one highlight is Nigel Bach as Tom Riley. His lack of fear, exhaustion and frustration with the ghostly/demonic forces of the house makes for an entertaining watch. His deadpan delivery is what gets the chuckles. Whereas the less said about the other cast members, the better. An irritating bunch.
Badder Ben: The Final Chapter’s biggest flaw lies in how it doesn’t go bigger and in fact seems like a regression. It’s the third film for goodness sake, why does it look cheaper, feel more amateur and have so much repetitive exposition?
After Steelmanville Road, there was hope for this seeing as it was a direct sequel to the original. Alas, it is so inferior and lacking in frightening moments that unless you’re after deadpan hit and miss jokes, you should well and truly avoid this one.
Badder Ben: The Final Chapter
The Final Score - 4/10