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Boo (2005)

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Plot Summary:
"The friends Emmett, Freddy, Marie, Kevin and his reluctant girlfriend Jessie decide to spend the Halloween night in an abandoned hospital. Meanwhile, the younger Allan meets the old friend of his father Arlo Ray Baines and asks him to help to find his vanished sister Meg in the same spot. The two groups meet each other in the mental institution section on the haunted third floor and they find that they are trapped in the place. Jessie has visions from the past and discovers that the ghost of Jacob, a former patient that raped a little girl and burned the hospital, is trying to escape possessing their bodies that melt down with his evil spirit."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 29 October 2009 My Rating: out of 5


A bunch of stupid youngsters decide to spend Halloween night in an abandoned old hospital/asylum harbouring nasty ghosties who don't particularly like visitors.

Written and directed by Fangoria writer Anthony C. Ferrante (his directorial debut), this horror flick announces itself as a belated (and I do mean belated) rip-off of 'Scream' from the get-go. It's virtually a remake of that film's excruciatingly tense opening scene except there's no Drew Barrymore, no tension, and seemingly no irony. Many have seen the film as an affectionate homage to horror films past, and perhaps had I known of Ferrante's background beforehand, I might have been more sympathetic, but I never got any indication this was a total parody/homage.

The villain's costume is a rip-off of 'Scream', the pumpkin motif is from 'Halloween', the music score is a combo of 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th', and the sucky title makes it sound like a spoofy William Castle film, which it isn't. This isn't homage, people, it's a cheap knock-off, stop being so kind. The Castle reference I made is apt- I mean, with one or two alterations, the plot would be almost identical to the plot of the 'House on Haunted Hill' remake (with Dee Wallace Stone essentially playing Jeffrey Combs by way of Nurse Ratched), which itself was tolerable at best, but far better than this. I did like the amusing reference to 'Blacula' and 'Dolemite', in 'Count Pimpula', but I'm not sure how many others will get that reference.

As for the gore, there's an interesting falling-to-pieces bit ruined by subpar FX, and the rest is nothing to write home about. The best, and frankly, only good thing about this generally uninteresting, uninspired horror knock-off is the crisp cinematography (the lighting is especially good), but that can't save us from the tedium

The actors, meanwhile, are Rudy Ray Moore bad, especially the African-American 'Final Girl'. I mean, what the hell is going on here? They get the cinematography right, and yet the script, and performances are shocking. Shouldn't the script be sorted out before you worry about lighting the damn thing? 'Goosebumps' books have been scarier experiences than this (A piano that plays itself? Really? Where's the black cat, eh? Or the tricycle with no one riding it?).

There's the germ for something enjoyable here, clichéd or not, the notion of a gory ghost story set in an abandoned building is still a solid foundation, that is unfortunately undone by terrible treatment here.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 06 October 2006 My Rating: out of 5

Anthony C. Ferrante’s feature film directing debut hits DVD on October 23rd courtesy of Momentum Pictures and for a straight to DVD low budget horror film, its a fun ride.

The premise sets a group of friends in an abandoned haunted hospital on Halloween Night after curiosity gets the better of them, and all kinds of scary occurrences begin. The kids soon realize that the stories they had heard about the place were all true, and they learn this in the worst possible ways.

Anthony C. Ferrante has proven time and time again in his roles as journalist, effects guy and writer that he is a true horror fan, a guy who thrives on scary movies, someone who still gets as excited about horror flicks as he did in his teens, and this is quite clearly the product of a horror fan.

The film looks great and has some amazing special and visual effects for such a small budget and it also has possibly the second scariest clown I’ve ever seen on film to date.

Some of the cast didn’t work so well for me…I’m not sure if it was the actors or the characters but I didn’t really feel as though I could invest in any of them. I will say that I pretty much despised Jilon Ghai’s character Kevin in this, and I had previously singled him out as the nicest and best actor/character in Alien Abduction, so he did an excellent job here playing a despicable asshole jock boyfriend. He was the complete opposite here so that’s a job well done on his part. Dee Wallace Stone kicked ass as usual and added a great deal to the proceedings here also.

The film hits DVD in time for Halloween and could quite well become a cult classic. Boo is filled with buckets full of fun, blood and guts and will tick all the boxes on any self respecting horror fans check list. If its good old fashioned 80’s style fun fused with 90’s horror wit you’re after then look no further for the perfect Halloween treat.

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