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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, August 21, 2023

Boo (2005)

It was time to check out the offerings on Amazon Prime again. Yeah, I know the last few times I’ve done this it hasn’t worked out well. But there must be some gem hiding from me on that service. Keeping hope alive I saw Boo and figured it was time to check out another generic ghost story set in an abandoned insane asylum. Can’t have enough of those.

It is Halloween and a bunch of twentysomethings are planning to have a big party. The annoying boyfriend decides to have it at a local abandoned insane asylum that is rumored to be haunted. He convinces his girlfriend with a dark backstory who has had visions since her mother died to go along.

In a parallel plot there is a guy who is looking for his missing sister who was last seen going to another impromptu party at the same asylum. Honestly, they need better security, but I digress. He goes to ask his father’s former partner, he was a cop, for help. The man, Arlo, complains it is out of his jurisdiction and tells him he can’t help. Though almost immediately follows him anyway. Did I mention that Arlo was a former Blaxploitation star? I thought that was going to be important later, but it isn’t.

Once everyone has arrived, they go in and are trapped by the ghost that haunts the place. There are attempts to create a backstory for one of the patients being a child murder/molester who was killed in a fire during a failed escape attempt. Sound familiar? More on that later. There are other ghosts of those who died in the fire because a brave nurse threw the keys out of the window to stop the escape from happening. Wait she is our hero because she doomed a bunch of innocent folks to a horrible death including a young girl? Okay don’t overthink it… In the end the bad ghost is defeated and a few of our characters make it out. The end.

This isn’t a good movie. The story is utterly generic and lacks any new or creative twist that would allow it to not remind me of much better movies. Don’t believe me? Well, we have the horribly burnt child molesting ghost that gets inside your head and dreams… Nightmare on Elm Street. Then there is the wheelchair that keeps rolling itself around as well as a ball that likes to roll down hallways… The Changeling. The movie even opens with an obscene phone call that turns out to be a friend who was chewing or some other nonsense… Halloween. Damn it movie don’t remind me how bad you are by blatantly referencing things I’d much rather be watching!

The pacing is also terrible. We get scene after scene of them walking around in the dark with some flashbacks that I guess are supposed to reveal plot details but aren’t all that interesting. When something does happen, it is crappy CGI. I did find the one oddball twist of the possessed folks melting when a ghost takes them over. This leads to quite a few characters popping like a balloon when getting shot. The attempts at building suspense or jump scares also fell flat. This is a ghost story that is neither spooky nor creepy. I found the entire proceeding to be tedious and generally unpleasant.

A couple of other things to note. The nurse in the flashbacks is played by Dee Wallace. It is very sad when I see an actor or actress slumming it for a paycheck. I don’t blame them, they have bills to pay, but to be utterly wasted in junk like Boo is a bummer. Also the reason I gave this one a shot is that the director Anthony C. Ferrante is best known as the director and creator of the Sharknado franchise. Had he gone silly and over the top here the movie might have worked but he didn’t, and it doesn’t. I can’t recommend this one.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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