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  Boo Same Old Same OldBuy this film here.
Year: 2005
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Stars: Trish Coren, Josh Holt, Dig Wayne, Nicole Rayburn, Ghilon Ghai, Happy Mahaney, Rachel Melvin, M. Steven Felty, Dee Wallace, Michael Samluk, Terri Novak
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's Halloween night in one American smalltown and Jessie (Trish Coren) is preparing by hollowing out a pumpkin to make a lantern. She is interrupted by the telephone, yet she's unsettled by the voice on the other end, hangs up and closes the door to the garden. The phone rings again and it turns out to be Jessie's friend, trying to persuade her to join a party, but she's reluctant. Then the doorbell rings and Jessie goes to answer it, not noticing that she is not entirely alone in the house, but handing out treats to the little girl who has appeared at the door in costume. When she returns to the kitchen, she is shocked to see the pumpkin now has a square of paper with the word "DIE" stuck to it and a masked figure grabs her from behind...

...but don't worry, this isn't Scream, so the opening is simply a jokey prologue to the night of supposed terror ahead and the masked figure is Freddy (Josh Holt), Jessie's prank playing boyfriend. The word "Boo" can have two meanings, here it's meant to raise comparisons with getting a fright, but it can also be the noise an audience makes when they're unimpressed with the entertainment they're watching. Scripted and directed by former horror movie critic Anthony C. Ferrante, the film is nothing if not derivative, and many rip-offs, sorry, homages lie within as the action moves to a large, lonely abandoned hospital.

If you think you've seen it all before in better movies, then you're missing the point, as Boo exists more as a tribute in the vein of those works Ferrante is a fan of than a straight compilation of highlights from elsewhere. In that hospital is Emmett (Happy Mahaney), who has been sent ahead by Freddy to turn on the power at the place and set up a few tricks to scare his friends. But oh dear, Emmett ends up being scared himself when various strange things start occuring, including a lift which only takes its passengers to the third floor, proving difficult later on for the characters wishing to go to the basement where the exit is.

One thing that can turn you off Boo is the noise - this is one of the loudest horror films of its era, all intended to unnerve but actually getting on the nerves with every bang, clatter, boom and scream. What a racket! It's a miracle nobody in the neighbourhood called the police when the mayhem kicked off. When Jessie, Freddy and two others break into the hospital, Jessie is keen to leave, but goes along with them so as not to be a wet blanket; of course, she's right to want to go as there is a supernatural presence there which means them all harm and to nobody's surprise they begin to be picked off one by one. To fill out the numbers, a brother looking for, and finding his sister, shows up along with an ex-blaxploitation movie star cop played by Dig Wayne of JoBoxers fame and so the night draws on. We have seen it all before, so originality is thin on the ground, but as a whole it speeds along at a fair pace and shouldn't exasperate those viewers in the mood for second hand chills. Music by Alan Howarth and Carey James.

[The extras-packed Region 2 DVD features a trailer, an audio commentary with the filmmakers (but not the actors) and some featurettes.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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