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Plot:A handful of college students get trapped in a haunted hospital on Halloween.
M. Steven Felty,
Edward Perry Smith,
My Thoughts:Effective but becomes bogged down by the end.
Review:I had a feeling "Boo" would be a good horror film and I wasn't disappointed...until the end atleast."Boo" follows a simple premise,two guys and two gals enter an abandoned hospital on Halloween night to have some Halloween fun (drinking,drugs,sex the usual).They do this despite the hospitals infamous reputation for being haunted by malevolent spirits.The star of this movie is the hospital itself.It's a really great set piece,and far superior in creep factor to the haunted hospital in the "House on Haunted Hill" remake.A friend of the four teens is sent in to prepare the hospital for the spooky walk through but the hospitals otherworldly tenants make short work of him beforehand."Boo" operates differently from most horror movies which take place in haunted digs.It sets up it's scares very well using a creepy piano score,the dark damp asylum setting,nice shots of reappearing and disappearing shadows,and nice camera work.It's a true haunted house movie,in fact it's what a haunted house movie should be.It follows all of the well known rules that make haunted house films seem stale and repetitive,but makes the whole experience fun again as opposed to a bore where we know whats going to happen at a certain point.Theres not many new things you can do with haunted house films,but that doesn't mean you can't take the old and breathe some new life into it.Another thing this film has going for it is the plot device of the infamous *third floor*,which is where the hospitals most insane patients were kept,and the creepy elevator which seems to only go to the third floor whenever anyone boards it.The eerie blood&rust ridden elevator is used so well in this movie that everytime characters get on it the viewer knows some freaky otherworldly shit is gonna go down.The characters in the film are the usual teenager types,two hot girls,one of which *gets around* while the other is a more honorable type.We also get the stereotypical contrast males,one a jock asshole and the other a more lowkey nice guy.Luckily Anthony C. Ferrante was smart enough to know that the film wouldn't work as well if these four were the focus of it all for the entire hour and 30 minutes,so he tossed in a cop whos a much more lowkey version of shaft,and the son of his former partner who enters the haunted hospital in search of his sister who has been missing for two days and was last seen in the vicinity of the asylum.
When all of these characters converge the film takes it up another notch spilling the blood and gore to it's hearts content.I'm not a huge fan of the paranoia aspect in these types of films because it's rarely done right or effectively but they work in this movie considering our evil ghost friend can posess people at will without those around them even knowing their friend has been taken over.The villain of the movie is a mental patient named Jacob played by M. Steven Felty.After a fire which killed him and his nurse (Dee Wallace Stone) years ago,he now wants to posess someone so he can escape the asylum and cause trouble on the outside.While "Boo" gives us our fill of posessed corpses attacking the living,demon dogs,exploding posessed teenagers,and blood flowing from ceilings,it gets very bogged down near the end with useless dialogue,stupid character decisions,and too much exposition.It makes the film confusing as well since it seems as if you're watching a straightforward ghost film only to have the villain near the movies climax drag the lead girl inbetween worlds to explain to her what his master plan is, and characters all of a sudden acting as if they don't care to escape with their lives as badly as they did earlier in the movie.To make matters worse,Jacob has a chance to kill everyone near the end,and succeed in furthering his wicked ambitions but decides to do the dreaded and cliche slow stalking thing giving his victims time to escape or come up with another way to buy some time.It seemed like Anthony C. Ferrante had a great thing going but when it really counted at the end,he dropped the ball more than a few times.Still you have to appreciate the effort for the first hour and 10 minutes of the film.
Pros:Great setting which set the mood,tone,and look of the film perfectly.The shadowy dark corridors,creepy elevator,and eerie music made the film fun to watch.It also had enough blood and gore to satisfy any horror fan,plus exploding corpses as an added bonus.
Cons:The last 20 minutes of the movie and the acting by most of the cast.
Overall:A very well done haunted house movie which is perfect except for it's final 20 minutes which upon reflection don't really spoil the entire film that much.
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