I'd hoped that I wouldn't have to write another Most Haunted review at least until October, as that is the usual time new episodes are released, but with no official word on a new series airing on UKTV channel REALLY, and me being repeatedly told by the Most Haunted Mole that UKTV are refusing to pay their previous amount per episode for Most Haunted, and threatening to shelve the show completely, we find ourselves at a fork in the road.
Probably about 13 years too late, Karl Beattie and Yvette Fielding have decided to knock up a Youtube Channel for Most Haunted, the thought being that if they don't get back on REALLY, at least they can put their shows online, and perhaps make money from ad revenue, or even by charging people per episode. Imagine if they had done this 13 years ago, they would have millions of subscribers! Instead I expect they will top off at about 50k.
So far their efforts have been a mixed bag, their first full "investigation" was done in portrait mode from a mobile phone, which made it pretty much unwatchable, and ended up with hundreds of complaints, and other uploads just being stuff that was not good enough to make the TV episodes.
Despite the teething problems they have managed to get about 19,000 subscribers, which is a decent amount. And they got about 63,000 views for the mobile phone investigation, but just 29,000 views for a 22 minute "Unseen Vigil" (read that as crap that didn't make the TV). So they definitely lost some viewers. But it is still early days. And there is still chance to grow, so with this being their 3rd go at putting a proper episode on Youtube, and their 2nd "broadcast quality" attempt, I thought I would give it a watch (so you don't have to) and give it my opinion.
Despite them claiming this is a "Short" it is actually only about 5 minutes shorter than a regular episode. Usually without ad breaks an episode runs 45 minutes, take out a minute beginning and end for the credits, and then take out the "previously on" and "coming up on" clips. And an episode really is only about 41 or 42 minutes long. This Most Haunted Short is 37 minutes long. So it is about as good a "test" as you will get as to the viability of having Most Haunted air as an online only entity.
It is also worth noting that they cant fiddle the viewership numbers like they do with the televised viewings.
"This is the first episode of the Most Haunted: Shorts series. The Most Haunted team embarks on another investigation. Can they complete the job without a scratch?"
The credits role and in voice over Yvette tells us we are going to two investigations. Karl and Stuart at Hereford Shire Hall. And Yvette and Glen at Ruthin Castle. I think this will be left over footage from this episode from last year that was filmed in June.
REVIEW: Most Haunted (24th October 2018) - Ruthin Castle
There is no walk around, no Yvette doing a piece into camera while walking down a stair case. We are straight into black and white, and the investigation has begun.
I would suggest that when this was filmed, they had no plans for a Youtube channel, otherwise they would have filmed it with that in mind including an intro.
Glen goes into Room 222. This feels familiar? I have wiped past episodes out of my mind, so apologies if you do remember it.
We cut to Karl and he is at Hereford Shire Hall in the Old Cells. This doesn't ring any bells, so maybe this was from one of the episodes I missed?
I'm already regretting watching this. Usually by the time they get into the investigations, the episode is 10 minutes old. This will be hard work.
Glen has gotten his laptop out, he quickly closes down his Google Chrome Browser which had 15 tabs open, all to some site, I could only make out Hamster. No idea what that could be.
We get a replay of what Yvette describes in voice over as a whimper.
If real it could be anything from a crew member to a bird, or even a cat. Or it could have just been added in post production to make what was a boring scene seem more interesting.
I think the reason that a lot of this footage would not have been used originally is because it is all too similar to what else they probably used in the episode.
Out of nowhere Yvette makes a comment about Glen's big potatoes. I assume she is referring to his testicles. (I am not joking, just after 7 minutes). Glen questions her description, and she quantifies it by saying he is "hard".
I have never seen Glen look so pleased with a description of himself before! Big potatoes and Hard! His Christmas has come early it seems.
Back with Karl and Stuart and suddenly there is a noise OFF CAMERA!
They run along a corridor and apparently the noise came from someone rattling a filing cabinet.
Karl recreates the noise, and proves that any human could have made the noise.
Suddenly there is another noise OFF CAMERA, and Karl and Stuart go running again.
I believe the phrase you are looking for here is "Same old, same shit".
In case you forgot the routine, all of this could be proven real if they simply used more than one camera. Put an iPhone on the side and pressed record, anything as simple as that and they prove the existence of ghosts, but of course, despite being 20+ series in, they still haven't thought of that, so the choice here is they are totally incompetent as investigators, or they are lying. I will leave you to make your minds up which.
As Yvette keeps thinking about Glen's big balls, she films his arse as he goes up the steps ahead of her, suddenly he makes a sex noise, she thinks it is a ghost, but he admits it was him. Yvette refuses to accept that it was Glen, and then changes what she heard and makes out it was a growl, the replay proves there was no growl.
Glen is doing his best to act tough to the ghosties.
Worth noting you can clearly hear people talking outside. Instantly this makes any noises they hear worthless, as it could easily be someone outside.
Cause we are on youtube, that means they don't have to edit out any swearing. And Stuart is taking advantage of that.
Yvette has pulled out the Ouija board, and both her and Glen are lightly fingering the glass.
Yvette starts to clearly push the glass, there is no doubt, no confusion, Yvette is just pushing the glass about.
Yvette claims the table is moving, and as you can see it is one of those flimsy fold-able tables, so hardly surprised it is moving.
Now Yvette is swearing!
Yvette stops the Ouija Board as perhaps she realises it is too obvious that it is her pushing the glass.
"Is anybody there? Knock once for yes, twice for no"
With Karl and Stuart, and they are talking to the ghost, even Karl admits there is a car park right outside where they are and they can hear people outside talking and moving about. You can also hear birds tweeting.
We then get a little set up, and it is pretty clear something will happen.
Karl gets into position, and Stuart proudly states he will stay here to get a wide shot, we then get a bang that was clearly not live and added in post production, Karl does his best bit of acting, and apparently a wooden crate moved and banged. OFF CAMERA.
Notice that Karl literally has his Smartphone in his hand, as he is using the light off it as a torch. He could just click record on the camera, and he would have just caught it on camera, instead he is just using the light.
Incompetence or fakery? There is no other option.
They really try to present this as proof of the paranormal. And the idiot fans lap it up.
22 minutes in out of 37 total, and boy am I bored already.
Glen has seen his chance, and moves in for the kill, he starts to seductively stroke behind Yvette's ear.
Just as Yvette is about to Orgasm, her pelvis hasn't been this far apart since childbirth, she gets spooked by something, and for once they actually capture it ON CAMERA!!
Yes Ladies and Gentleman, a GHOST BAT is caught on camera. Yvette says M*ther F*cker. And Most Haunted has hit a new low.
The replays are hilarious, as it keeps replaying Yvette nearly cumming as the ghost bat flies behind them.
The ghost bat has completely killed the mood, and Yvette has clenched up. Poor Glen, he got so close.
Karl and Stuart are stomping about a bit.
Yvette and Glen check the laptop for EVP and the episode pretty much abruptly ends.
10 seconds of credits, a little dodgy voice over by Yvette which sounds like it was recorded on a built in laptop microphone and that's that.
With a bit of effort they could have easily stretched this another 5 minutes and claimed it was a proper episode.
With the last series literally filmed over just 4 nights and then stretched to 10 episodes, they can easily create plenty of content for their Youtube Channel, the problem is not the quantity, but the quality. And I expect that they will churn out any old crap onto the channel, and people will soon stop watching.
To make money on youtube you need millions of views, and even then you face the problem of companies not wanting to advertise on certain channels if they do not deem them to be good converters. (People who click through and then purchase or sign up to whatever is being advertised).
Content that contains bad language means no advertisers of children's products. Channels which feature the occult means no religious advertising. Those are two of the biggest groups of advertisers out the window straight away.
It is early days and if Most Haunted decide to, or if they have no other choice but to go online only, then youtube is their best bet, but if they think they can make money from it, they are deluded.
At best they can film during their Most Haunted Experience tours, use that footage to make up episodes, and put it online for free just to keep the name out there and hope it helps drive people to their live experience tours. Perhaps create enough content to release a DVD every so often. That would be their best bet.
Unless things change and UKTV decide to pay for another series, this could very well be the future for Most Haunted, no more than a youtube show, no different to the hundreds of other similar ghost hunting shows out there.
As a stand alone episode this was poor, and you could understand why this footage never made previous episodes. I give it a 0 out of 10. Don't waste your time.
And no I have no interest in embedding the episode here, or sending them views. If you really want to watch it I am sure you can find it. But let's be clear here, one review of mine gets more views/reads than an episode of Most Haunted will ever get on youtube, even if it is a "short".
If the show moves permanently to YouTube, then I see no reason why I would review it. It simply wouldn't benefit me or this site. But you never know.
Review by Jon Donnis.
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By Jon Donnis