Classic Movie Reviews

Classic Review: Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Boo! A Madea Halloween” which originally appeared here.

Madea (Tyler Perry) winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a hilarious, haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls, and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.

This isn’t exactly a horror film but the big draw here has to be seeing the character of Madea put in horror-type situations. This is still a Madea film so it can only go so far with the horror. In terms of the Madea film series, I was aware of the character but I had no idea how many films there actually were. Because of this, people are surely tired of the character after so many films but being my first experience with the character, I’m not quite there.

The story took a while to get started and starts off with a 17 year old girl named Tiffany Simmons (Diamond White). While walking home from school, her and her 17 year old friend Aday (Liza Koshy), along with two cooler older girls named Rain (Bella Thorne) and Leah (Lexy Panterra), get courted by a group of frat boys that want them to come to their halloween party. Of course she wants to go along with the cooler girls but her father Brian (also Perry) forbids it. Brian, worried that Tiffany will go to the party while he is gone, enlists his aunt Madea (also Perry) to watch her. Madea doesn’t come alone, however, as she brings her brother Joe (also Perry), Madea’s cousin Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), and her friend Hattie (Patrice Lovely) to help.

The plot explores the generation gap between Brian and Madea and her group. Brian’s way of doing things is a lot different as he tries to distance himself from how he was raised. Madea and the other older people often criticize Brian on his parenting style. Once Brian leaves, things got started and the generational gap is more evident when they begin to impose their views. Watching the older people talk about the way things were and the way the should be was kind of funny, despite sometimes being on the cheesy and caricaturish side. The next hurdle for Tiffany was to try and outsmart the old people so she and Aday could go to the party.

They are old people after all, so it was pretty easy to do it once Tiffany concocted a story involving a vengeful spirit that comes out on Halloween and takes a life and the only safe place was in a bedroom. All the older people fell for it but Madea was still skeptical or at least trying to hide the fact that she was scared. It did not take long for Madea to figure out that she was gone, leading to a great confrontation with the much younger people at the frat party. The surprising thing was how well they fit in. When their presence became a disruption, they are thrown out leading them to call the police.

As retaliation, the frat guys decide to prank the old people by scaring them, leading to all the horror-type situations. The frat guys were definitely the weakest part of the film, depicted as cliched caricatures. Luckily, they weren’t around for long. The film took a long time to get there but this was the best part of the film. Watching characters interact with each other and with what was happening was fun to watch. The scares were mostly generic so the film relied more on the delivery of the older characters. It was obvious to us what was happening but watching their reactions was hilarious. There just wasn’t enough of it, choosing to end with the cliche lesson for the frat guys and also Tiffany and Brian.

The performances from the older characters were good all around with Perry bringing the silly with his performances as Madea and Joe. What helped to bring out the performances was the script and the direction which worked to the actors’ strengths. The majority of the dialogue was on the silly side but it wasn’t all about what the characters said but how they said it, this came from the direction. After so many films, Perry kind of knows what works and people keep eating it up. The frat characters were so cliched, their performances came off as cringe-worthy.

Overall, this was a fun, silly horror comedy, which was light on the horror and bogged down by some cliche family stuff but is elevated by its performances.

Score: 7/10

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