BAD BEN 4: THE MANDELA EFFECT (2018)
Directed and Written by Nigel Bach.
Starring Nigel Bach
Tom Riley (writer/director Nigel Back) seems to be caught in a time loop where he relives the first day he acquires the house on Steelmanville Road from an estate sale. His repeated attempts to understand the paranormal happenings at the home end in disaster, yet he continues to find himself in his car, on a long road with the house as his final destination.
While I felt the last BAD BEN installment (BAD BEN 3: BADDER BEN) was a rough watch, BAD BEN 4: THE MANDELA EFFECT is sort of a return to form for this popular low budget film franchise. Paring the extensive backstory and lore down to basics, Bach succeeds where things got convoluted in the last film. The story plays out almost in a GROUNDHOGS DAY manner where Bach’s character Tom Riley experiences his demise over and over, facing different terrifying aspects of the haunted house.
While the effects are at a minimum, Bach successfully achieves quite a few sequences of tension and sheer horror. I have to admit, I jumped quite a few times during this one. There’s one sequence where Riley encounters a creepy doll in the attic is extremely well realized. Another involving phone calls that are coming from inside the house also succeeded in giving me genuine creeps. There is even a jump scare that works better than most of what Blumhouse has churned out lately. While done on an extremely low budget, I couldn’t help but be invested in Riley’s fate, even though I knew he would just start the story again if he met his demise.
As usual, Bach is not a good actor. He delivers lines flatly and walks around a lot in his underwear, reminding you of that neighbor who has given up on life and mows his lawn in black socks and flip-flops. Still, with four movies under his belt, I am really getting to like this guy. It’s wonderful to see Bach learning from mistakes made in previous films and improving on his skill at inciting suspense and scares. This series keeps on plugging on and I can’t wait to encounter the Crescent Moon Clown (who makes his debut quite scarily in this film) in next week’s fifth installment.
BAD BEN Review here!!
BAD BEN 2: STEELMANVILLE ROAD here!!
BAD BEN 3: BADDER BEN here!!
Check out the trailer here!!