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Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate

Boo? ‘A Madea Halloween’ held back on horror

“Boo! A Madea Halloween” is yet another addition to the the series of movies where Tyler Perry, who serves as director, producer and actor for three characters, creates a storyline around an elderly woman who is both inappropriately-natured and comically unpredictable. This movie, along with over twenty appearances of Madea in videos, television shows and movies since 2002, features a plot of comedy, improvisation, family drama and life lessons.

The movie takes place on Halloween, Brian (Perry) has to go out of town and asks his children to go to their mother’s house for the weekend. When his 17-year-old daughter Tiffany (Diamond White) refuses, planning instead to sneak out and go to a Halloween party at a frat house down the street, he calls Madea (Perry) to make sure that she doesn’t leave the house. Since it’s Madea, she doesn’t do anything exactly as she’s told. With her, she brings Brian’s father, Joe (also Perry), and her two friends Hattie (Patrice Lovely) and Bam (Cassi Davis).

Tiffany and her best friend Aday (Liza Koshy) trick the “old people” as they call them, with a ghost story and a few remote-controlled lights, unsuccessfully sneaking out to the cliché movie frat house party where Madea, Hattie and Bam quickly follow. Chaos of course follows, sending both groups into panic as cops show up at their doors.

Compared to other movies that are a part of the “Madea” series, there are still the same witty and mildly offensive one-liners that give the viewers a punch of comedy between action scenes and over-extended dialogues. The dialogues between Brian, Madea and the other adults in the new movie are more like scene fillers than scenes that move the plot along.

Viewers might often find themselves waiting for that quick transition to action and more “horror” that is expected in this Halloween movie. There were a few parody aspects of a true horror movie which helped pick up the pace and bring the viewer back to the the storyline that they might find more interesting. The promotional images of Madea holding an ax are much more dramatic than what is seen on screen as she tries to seem brave in front of her friends without any success. However, the haunting pranks against Madea were believable, hilarious and well-coordinated, even including a jump scare or two with a well-placed frat boy in a clown mask.

Some scenes, like when Brian is arguing with what he should do with Tiffany to discipline her, seem to drag on for minutes, although, this may be due to the editing that comes with having all three of Perry’s characters talking to each other in one conversation. In that case, the amount of hard work that goes into the Madea industry from one person is both impressive and different from anything else that’s been released as of late.

Besides starring the well-known characters and actors, this movie is a stepping stone for a few young actors who play key roles in the story and are just starting out in the industry itself. Diamond White, who was a contestant on X-Factor, has quick-fire comebacks against Madea and her friends. Liza Koshy, a new YouTuber with 4.5 million subscribers who plays Tiffany’s best friend Aday, helps to orchestrate a plan with Madea to get back at Tiffany and the frat house for pranking them. For White and Koshy, along with fellow YouTubers Yousef Erakat, Kian Lawley, JC Caylen and several other frat boys, this movie marks the first of their big-screen roles.

With a Halloween movie added to the mix, it is hard to imagine what Tyler Perry will come up with next for the life of Madea. Hopefully with more wit, sass and well-executed transitions, the next idea lined up will pull viewers in with action and seamless comedy, without the need for extra banter.