24th Apr2019

Terrible Terror: ‘Episode 50’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the second installment in a brand-new series here on Nerdly, Terrible Terror, in which we highlight some of, what we think, are the WORST horror movies to have ever burnt my retina with their atrociousness. Up this time is found-footage horror Episode 50.


Stars: Josh Folan, Chris Perry, Natalie Wetta, Keithen Hergott, Eleanor Wilson | Written and Directed by Joe Smalley, Tess Smalley

Ghost hunting and paranormal investigation is the hottest thing in reality TV right now, with new show after new show appearing on US television each year. Well now the concept has been brought to the movies with Episode 50, which follows the ghost-hunting crew of the (fictional) television show Paranormal Inspectors as they shoot their 50th episode (hence the films title) at the West Virginia State Lunatic Asylum, which – at least in the “reality” of this film – is considered one of America’s most haunted sites.

Of course this wouldn’t be a horror movie if something didn’t go awry. And like many a “found-footage” flick before it, the premise of Episode 50 is that Paranormal Inspectors was cancelled before episode 50 could air and so nobody knew what actually happened at the West Virginia State Lunatic Asylum until now. Visiting the site in the hopes of debunking the supposed hauntings, the Paranormal Inspectors, led by Jack (Folan) and Damon (Perry), aren’t alone in their investigations, also hoping to spot some ghouls and ghosts are members of the Academia Spirit Searchers Club (ASSC)  – a group of scientists and christians – who, unlike the P.I. team, hope to prove the very existence of ghosts, in particular the demonic spirits which are said to haunt the asylum.

So, demonic spirit? Check. Unseen footage? Check. Creepy abandoned locale? Check. Sounds like all the makings of yet another stereotypical found-footage fear flick. Errr, check?

Kicking off with brief footage from the fictional episode 49, Episode 50 wastes no time in getting to the meat and potatoes of its story, with both teams experiencing mild cases of the paranormal with objects moving on their own, bees covering the windows, eerie voices and slamming doors. Of course despite claims that the asylum is the “Gateway to Hell” and that everyone who has EVER entered the buildings has died – and not just simply died, but all had the hearts literally burst in their chests from fear – the P.I. team still proceed with their investigations – any sane person would have no doubt scarpered a LONG time ago. But these guys? Oh no, they blame the hauntings on kids who’ve apparently seen the cameras and decided to have some fun at their expense.

Of course doesn’t take long before the supernatural occurrences escalate and the spirits decide to have some fun with the paranormal investigators. Fun which includes one of the team getting electroshock therapy at the hands of a ghostly nurse and another getting viciously murdered by a supernatural sex fiend. All in a days work right? Of course not. Well not if you’re completely sane like the rest of us. Uncovering the truth – that a serial killing devil worshiper has in fact used them to open the portal to hell, like any good paranormal investigators the two teams decide, even in the face of death, to follow their investigations through to the end… An end filled with terrible CGI!

Riddle with cliches, Episode 50 offers nothing new to casual viewers or to fans of the genre. The best thing I can say about the film? At least I was never bored.


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