The GBHBL Definitive Ranking of the Bad Ben Movie Series

It is impossible to talk about the Bad Ben franchise without first talking about Nigel Bach. The creator of the Bad Ben series who has produced and directed all films to date as well as taking the starring role in most. This is his baby and he has been churning them out in quick succession since 2016. For better or worse.

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Found footage paranormal horrors made on micro-budgets, the series has had highs and lows. While the focus began with a house and a malevolent spirit named Ben, the real star is Tom Riley (Bach) and slowly but surely his adventures have become the main storyline. A moody and churlish man, there is something loveable about the character. Especially how he tends to take all the paranormal stuff in his stride.

As of right now, there have been eight movies in the Bad Ben series with the latest coming in 2020. This is our definitive ranking of the series to date based off our original review scores. As always, should two films score the same we will rank them based on which we would rather watch again.

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8. Steelmanville Road (2017)
Our Score: 3/10

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The follow up to the better-than-expected Bad Ben goes the prequel route. Choosing to focus on the family that lived in the house before it ended up for auction leading to the events of the first film. A fine idea as there certainly was a bit of mystery about it but in the end, we get a half-hearted found footage horror that drops logic and sense for an abundance of scare attempts. With very few actually managing to land.

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It’s unashamed in how much it lacks subtly and tells its story in half-hearted fashion with a cast who…let’s just say, they struggle at times.

Whereas Bad Ben could be enjoyable even with its flaws, there is very little to enjoy here. It’s boring, overplays its hand and ends in such a lacklustre way that it is downright frustrating.

You can read our full review here.

7. Bad Ben – The Mandela Effect (2018)
Our Score: 3.5/10

If you didn’t know the premise beforehand, the start of The Mandela Effect might make you think you accidentally put the first movie on instead. However, this is a crucial plot point as here we find Tom in a kind of ghostly Groundhog Day situation. An interesting idea that does not work here.

Instead of a harrowing and clever story about a man doomed to repeat horrifying events over and over again. Seeing him come to realise it and try to break the cycle somehow. We get a mind-numbing re-tread that lacks any semblance of intrigue. Simply put, it’s boring and feels double its 67-minute run-time.

You can read our full review here.

6. The Crescent Moon Clown (2018)
Our Score: 4/10

Back to the Steelmanville Road house where we meet Renee (Jetta Tionne Anderson) and not Bach’s Tom Riley. Although he does pop in later on of course.

She is spending her first night alone at the infamous house while her parents are away. If you’ve seen a Bad Ben movie before or any found-footage haunted house movie before, you know what happens next.

If you’re expecting scares, this is not the movie for you. What The Crescent Moon Clown does is so basic and poorly thought-out that it wouldn’t scare a child. That is the film’s major flaw although the story is hardly anything to write home about either.

You can read our full review here.

5. Badder Ben: The Final Chapter (2017)
Our Score: 4/10

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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.

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.

Alas, it is so lacking in frightening moments that unless you’re after deadpan hit and miss jokes, you should well and truly avoid this one.

You can read our full review here.

4. Bad Ben Pandemic (2020)
Our Score: 4.5/10

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.

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.

You can read our full review here.

3. Bad Ben: The Way In (2019)
Our Score: 4.5/10

It sees Bach return to his roots as the only on-screen character and has him battling nine demons in the house. Yes, Bad Ben: The Way In actually has a go at varying the plot up. It’s not much and plays out in exactly the same fashion as most of the previous movies but it is something.

Does it make it a worthwhile watch? Absolutely not. It’s a horrible movie in a series that has massively overstayed its welcome.

You can read our full review here.

2. Bad Ben 7: The Haunted Highway (2019)
Our Score: 6/10

Not only is Bad Ben 7: The Haunted Highway an alright movie, it’s arguably the best since Bach debuted the series back in 2016.

Tom Riley is back and this time he’s an Uber driver. Well, not Uber obviously but DROPUOFF and on Halloween night he’s got some very strange fares to ferry around. Most of the film takes place in the car of Riley as he meets a myriad of characters who all seem to want to go to the same place. The house on Steelmanville Road.

After so many horrible retreads, it’s a genuine pleasure to go into this movie expecting the same and coming away surprised. Bad Ben 7: The Haunted Highway is a re-energised Nigel Bach, finally bringing something fresh to the franchise.

You can read our full review here.

1. Bad Ben (2016)
Our Score: 6/10

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A one-man show, Bad Ben was directed and stars Nigel Bach. He plays Tom Riley, a man who thinks he has the deal of a lifetime when he buys a house below market value at a Sheriff’s sale. He has sunk all his money into it and plans to ‘flip’ it for a nice profit.

His excitement is infectious and he decides to document the entire process but when the house seems to have intruders coming and going, his dream begins to turn into a nightmare. Tom decides to install surveillance cameras around the house. All in the hope of capturing the people breaking in but what he actually discovers is something much more wicked and paranormal.

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If you can overlook its flaws and look past the tag of found footage what you’ll find is a decent little horror flick. One that certainly deserves more credit then most get within the ailing sub-genre of horror.

You can read our full review here.




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