BOO! (2018) reviews and overview

 

‘You’ve been chosen’

BOO! is a 2018 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Luke Jaden from a screenplay co-written with Diane Michelle. The movie stars Aurora Perrineau, Jaden Piner, Jill Marie Jones, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Dwight Henry, and Rob Zabrecky. It was produced by Phil Wurtzel of Midland Entertainment and Automatik Entertainment’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Sinister and Insidious franchises).

Release:

The Movie Partnership has announced that BOO! will be available on digital download from 17th June, 2019.

Plot:

“The air is cool, the season is Fall
Soon Halloween will come to all,
Terror and horror, spooks galore
Tricky witches are at your door.
The spooks are looking for things to do
In fact, one bought this boo to you.
Excitement comes and ghouls like you
Copy this note and make it through.”

A torn suburban Chicago family refuses to heed the warning of a seemingly innocent prank note left at their front door causes an unknown supernatural force to wreak havoc…

Review:

Amidst the costumes, candy, decorations and overall commercialisation of Halloween we often forget its dark origins. Origins rooted in the return of the spirits of the dead and rituals to appease them. Those rituals may have changed over the centuries, but they still exist and are to be ignored at your own peril. One family finds this out in BOO! the first feature from Luke Jaden.

BOO! opens with a prologue set in1980 involving a man, a photocopied sheet of paper with a ghost on it and a shotgun. We then jump forward to the present day, when a troubled family gets the same photocopied sheet left on their door. James (Rob Zabrecky), the family patriarch denounces it and Halloween as paganism and burns it, much to the distress of his son Caleb (Jaden Piner), who believes in the Boo! and its powers.

Meanwhile, Mother Elyse (Jill Marie Jones) and daughter Morgan (Aurora Perrineau) are amused by the whole thing. Amused that is until it quickly becomes apparent that the curse is real and something malevolent has arrived.

Writers Jaden and Diane Michelle lay the family’s problems on so heavy that evil spirits seem like the least of their troubles. Elyse is a chain-smoking alcoholic with a medicine cabinet full of pills. Caleb is withdrawn and draws strange creepy images. James is obsessed with the bible. Morgan has relationship issues and suicidal thoughts. All of which the curse draws on for the apparitions and nightmares it sends them.

BOO! works up some genuinely creepy images and sequences but they’re overwhelmed at times by talky domestic drama. The film spends way too much time showing the characters smoking and bitching at each other. It shows too little of them dealing with whatever is stalking them.

It’s not until the last twenty or so minutes that it builds any sustained tension or suspense. It needs a stronger build-up to keep the audience engaged because that last stretch is a wild ride, but some viewers are going to have checked out by then.

Jim Morazzini, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“Luke Jaden’s supernatural chiller expands upon the old Samhain concept of spirits punishing those who won’t participate in the holiday festivities, with the added bleak weight of a broken family’s dying gasps. The scares themselves are well-executed but the plot is saturated in dread, which is where the real craft shines through. A worthy watch.” Dread Central

“As it is, there’s not a lot happening in BOO!‘s underneath. It compares in structure to the recent Terrified from Argentina, but it fails to maintain a concept for as long or as successfully. It can’t seem to hold an idea in its head beyond that it’s bad when families drift apart and good when they don’t.” Film Freak Central

“Despite the amazing atmospherics and acting, the plot does falls apart in the third act, swept away by the visions of ghastly dread the family is subjected to. That is easily forgiven, however, because the vibe is all-engrossing. It’s fun to imagine a 3rd act that pulled together and paid off all the threads, but what we get is still high-quality creepy fun.” Film Threat

” …the focus is on the family’s turmoil with each experiencing hallucinations directly connected with their worst nightmares and, lots of them all while hashing out some issues. Some will love the idea that a whole family unit is trying to escape their own individual nightmares. For me, the family dynamic, though intentional, caused the end sequences to suffer. The slow pace in turn, sucked the tension out.” Mother of Movies

“It doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, but it does fit perfectly in the paranormal genre. While the characters do have their problems, my favorite was Elyse and Morgan. The movie is under an hour and a half, so it’s not long at all. The pacing is pretty perfect, and when it starts it doesn’t stop. So overall, BOO! was a treat to watch…” Nightmarish Conjurings

Choice dialogue:

James: “We are haunted by our mistakes. Not by ghosts.”

Cast and characters:

Aurora Perrineau … Morgan – All That We Destroy; The Body; Truth or Dare; Freaks of Nature
Jaden Piner … Caleb
Jill Marie Jones … Elyse – Ash vs Evil Dead
Rob Zabrecky … James – Decay
Charley Palmer Rothwell … Ashton
Dwight Henry … Memphis
Dan John Miller … News Reporter
Reuben Blumenstein … Creepy Blind Boy
Kurt Schneider … The Ghost
Kaden Brosowski … Door Ghost #1
Torque … Torque the Dog
Felix McCarthy … The Dark
Anthony Kurkowski … Door Ghost #2
Reggie … Reggie the Goldfish
Austin Reckart … Door Ghost #3

Technical credits:

91 minutes