By Nick Erickson, Staff writer
No matter what sentiment people have of Tyler Perry, one cannot dispute that he is a talented being. Writing, directing and starring in his hit “Madea” film franchise, it could easily be a tiring process. With the spirit of Halloween still lingering in the air, Perry has released the 10th installment in the series, “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Having the name “Halloween” in the title could be perceived as a bit misleading, as this film is not scary in the slightest. It is, however, a raunchy, yet rather predictable, comedy that fails to really stick out among the other films in the series.
Perry once again plays the main character Madea, the loud, opinionated and matriarch figure of the family. Perry also plays Madea’s brother Joe and Joe’s son, Brian. The sassy 17-year-old Tiffany (Diamond White), Brian’s daughter, is forbidden by her father from attending a fraternity party with her friend Aday (Liza Koshy). Brian enlists the help of his extended family of Madea, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), Hattie (Patrice Lovely) and Joe to babysit her. Of course, Tiffany manages to sneak out of the house, which forces Madea and company to head to the frat house where hilarity ensues in some cringe-worthy ways (including Madea exposing her breasts to horrified frat boys). Before too long, Madea comes in contact with supernatural phenomena via TV screens, zombies and even evil clowns. Madea, being the type of person she is, overreacts and deals in her own way, which usually involves bashing them on the head.
Let no one be fooled: the minimal horror elements in the film are not frightening. This is very much a classic Madea film. Rather than placing Madea’s character into an actual slasher film, there is instead a mixing of comedy with light-hearted scares. Besides some generic foggy scenes and the fact that the clowns are genuinely creepy, this film feels more like a Halloween special for a Disney Channel sitcom, with the added cheekiness. All of Perry’s characters, especially Madea, are the selling points of watching the film from their hilarious antics alone.
However, the main downside to the film is the actual storyline itself feels thin and extremely predictable, a case of “situation happens and Madea has to deal with it in her own funny ways.” Perry is clearly attempting to reach a young audience, given the incorporation of the fraternity and how they all act on screen. They portray the stereotypical “party” mentality, and in fact, several of the frat members are YouTube stars (not to mention a famous YouTube twerker). It feels odd that many of the characters portraying teenagers are pushing 30, and even the humor they offer runs dry quick. Overall, Madea is the sole force bringing the laughs in the theater. It just feels far too overdone, though.
There’s no doubt that the newest installment in the “Madea” series is going to rake in millions. After all, they always manage to bring in gut-busting laughs to the masses and people are aware of that. Despite this, the humor that “Boo! A Madea Halloween” offers is no more than one could receive from any of the previous nine films. Perry will continue to do what he does: dressing up as the cackling and snarky elderly woman. One might ask themselves, however, is it really worth the ticket price to see the same premise yet again?