Reviewed by: Matt Withers
Anthony C. Ferrante
M. Steven Felty
What's it about
What’s it about? - A group of college kids go to a supposedly haunted hospital on Halloween night to scare the crap out of each other. Too bad for them the place really does have some of that old black magic going on. Great gore, no boobs, and bad dialogue ensue.
Is it good movie?
Boo was a strange watch for me because it almost felt like two different movies. On the one hand you have a fantastically creepy locale, excellent scare scenes, and plenty of messy wet stuff. On the other hand you have a relatively boring and poorly explained story. Hurting the vibe even further is the wooden delivery by most of the cast. Not only did I have difficulty figuring out what the madness behind the madness was, once I got it, I didn’t care.
Characters make consistently stupid decisions (if a ghost threw keys at you, why would you go IN!), sub-plots jump up and fade away with little concern for continuity, and the whole movie would be better served if the HALLOWEEN homage that starts this sucker off was dropped completely. The only bright spots in regards to performance and plot are Dee Wallace Stone doing as good a job as possible to make things work (she rocks!), and Nicole Rayburn whose sassy, slutty Marie is the only one of “the kids” who exhibits any charisma or engenders any sympathy.
I do have to give major props to director Anthony C. Ferrante, however, for putting together truly excellent scare scenes. While they are a little heavy on the “boo” scares (surprise, surprise), the truth is he manages to effectively use stuff that we’ve seen before and make it fresh and scary. We’ve got bloody faces painted on walls, f*cked up clowns, wheelchairs moving on their own, sudden ghostly appearances, etc. Nothing you haven’t seen before, but it all plays as Ferrante masterfully controls the environment and mood of the piece.
I just wish all that flair and skill was in service of a better overall project.
Video / Audio
Filmmaker Commentary - features director Anthony C. Ferrante, editor Chris Conlee, producer David Allen and co-producer Sherri Bryant. This was a pretty entertaining look into the madness that is low budget filmmaking. There are a lot of instances of people talking over each other, but at the same time you get very different perspectives about the on set process and what considerations were in play based on each person’s role. It also gives some good overall insight into why a director’s vision often gets compromised on the way to the finished product.
Three Featurettes -
“The Making of Boo”: Watch actors who have watched too many other actors do DVD featurettes.
“Inside The Special Effects Of Boo”: Just how do they get all that gooey stuff to do that? Grab a brew and watch it with your honey.
“Intensive Scares: Tales Of The Linda Vista Hospital”: Get the low down on the cast and crew’s experience with actual weirdness while shooting on set. Nothing too freaky, but interesting.
Deleted, Alternate and Extended Scenes - Tons of scenes that were either dropped or chopped to tighten up the running time. No real gems in there, but you may want to check ‘em out after listening to the commentary since it features some material that is discussed there.
Video:Anamorphic Widescreen/4:3 Full Screen
Audio:Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound / 2.0 Stereo
Unfortunately I spent most of the movie thinking about how much of a better movie it could have been. Much of the dialogue and plotting is nearly painful to behold, but I still think the gore and spook scenes are effective enough to warrant a looksie by most genre fans. Just check your expectations, and your common sense, at the door.