By CJ Bamert
Sometimes, you go into a movie and you have an idea of what’s going to happen. Sometimes, your expectations are met, other times they are sadly not, and every once in a while, the movie goes over your expectations and is the better than you expected. What if I told you there is a movie that manages to simultaneously meet the criteria of all three of those ratings. That movie is called “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween.”
Don’t get me wrong, this is a terrible movie. Let’s get that straight right now. The movie is incompetent in all accounts. Most of the times it doesn’t feel like it has a script. The film rambles on and goes on tangents before remembering it can’t just be Madea ranting at the audience. There’s one point where there is a 10-minute aside about how Perry’s character Brian (Perry plays three characters in the film) should hit his kids more, which eventually is just left when they need to forward the “plot.”
The film begins with Tiffany, Madea’s niece. She’s hanging out with the “bad group” of girls at school. They all want to go to a college party for Halloween and Tiffany wants to go too, except she’s 17 (It doesn’t help that all of the frat brothers are played by 35-year-old men). Brian wants Tiffany to stay safe, so he asks Madea to come over for the night and make sure Tiffany stays put. Madea brings all of her classic friends over, Aunt Bam, Hattie, and Joe (Perry’s third role). Tiffany wants to abandon the old people so she tells them all a scary ghost story to get them paranoid. And all I can say next is that shenanigans ensue.
As a first time viewer of a Madea movie, I genuinely found the movie confusing. For a very preachy, stupid movie, it had a message that I couldn’t really pinpoint. There are the obvious heavy catholic morals that are pushed throughout the movie (Madea makes it to Halloween mass to get saved in the middle of the film.) But aside from that, the film seems to be unsure who is at fault and why. The frat brother characters are the most concrete form of antagonists. But they are actually kind of decent. Unless they aren’t, then they are trying to scare Madea with Halloween pranks. Full disclosure, the film does not feature any actual supernatural elements. Everything is grounded here. So for everyone who was hoping to see Madea go toe-to-toe with Dracula or a werewolf will be sorely disappointed; I know I was.
Another thing that was very curious was its embracement of a black culture involving a lot of ignorance and yelling, but also wanting to be serious and well demeanored. In one moment, Brian yells at his father Joe about his use of the n-word. It starts as Brian yelling at his father’s choice of words, and quickly transforms into Perry lecturing the audience on its use in music and black culture. You don’t really understand what Perry wants to convey to the general public, is he for or against the word?
It’s actually really sad watching this movie after seeing Perry’s last big role in “Gone Girl.” In that film, he played a character with so much charisma and subtlety, one would think maybe he had finally moved on and gotten some creative drive. That is not the case.
But in the end, I’m not really sure if any of my criticism mattered. Because through the bad everything in this movie, I was wholly and genuinely entertained. I wasn’t always laughing at the jokes. But I sure thought this film as a piece of art and cinema was some kind of beautiful disaster sent by God. For that alone, the film gets a 3/10 from me. I would honestly recommend seeing it. But just for every reason you probably don’t want to see it for.
SHARK: S:1 H:5 A: 1 R: 2 K: 3