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Boo! - Graveyard Filmworks Print E-mail
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Written by Elaine Lamkin   
Friday, 11 January 2008

Directed by: Anthony C. Ferrante
Written by: Anthony C. Ferrante
Produced by: David E. Allen, Sheri Bryant, Brian Patrick O'Toole
Cinematography by: Carl Bartels
Editing by: Chris Conlee
Special Effects by: John Bordeaux
Music by: Heather Marie Marsden
Cast: Trish Coren, M. Steven Felty, Jilon Ghai, Josh Holt, Happy Mahaney, Rachel Melvin, Nicole Rayburn, Dig Wayne, Dee Wallace-Stone
Year: 2004
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 93 minutes

Distributor: Kismet Entertainment/Graveyard Filmworks/Ventura

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“Scream While You Can…”

Opening with a homage to “Scream” and filled with references to John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, Stephen King’s “It” (damn but I hate clowns!), Brad Anderson’s “Session 9” (damn but I also hate abandoned mental hospitals!), a creepy old funeral home, “melting” people (disgusting but effective), bleeding walls and a ghost girl, makes “Cinescape” editor Anthony C. Ferrante’s feature-film debut a pretty good Halloween horror movie.  The story is pretty by-the-horror-movie book: a group of college students convince an unsure friend to come out with them on Halloween night for some “real” scares.  As in the recent movie, “Death Tunnel” (2004), what the girls in this group don’t know is that another friend has gone ahead to rig up the abandoned hospital with some spooky stuff to freak them out.  However, poor Emmett (Happy Mahaney) and his dog, Duchess, wake up whatever has been dormant in the hospital and things are not looking good for the arriving visitors.  At the same time, Allan (Michael Samluk), whose father once worked for the local police force, is trying to find his sister, Meg (Rachel Melvin), who, together with some friends, disappeared at the hospital a few nights previous.  He contacts a friend of his father’s, Officer Arlo Baines (Dig Wayne), who just happened to have been an actor in his early days, playing “Dynamite Jones”, a blaxploitation hero who dealt with villains like “Count Pimpula”.  Together, the two of them make there way through an underground tunnel from an abandoned but still pretty spookily furnished funeral home across the street to the hospital.  Now, we have seven people who have little or no idea what they have gotten themselves into.  An elevator which ONLY goes to the 3rd floor (J-Ward), where the most dangerous patients were kept, skeletons popping up in places they have no reason to be, a serious electrical short which keeps the film dark with intermittent flashes of brighter light and suddenly Allan finds his sister Meg who looks like she has been through the ringer.

Now, with 8 unlucky souls trapped, especially the ultra-sensitive Jessie (Trish Coren), who begins having flashbacks to events at the hospital that reveal what went on years before involving a creepy patient named Jacob (M. Steven Felty) and his nurse (Dee Wallace-Stone), things start to really speed up.  Earlier, Allan came upon what was left of Duchess the dog and…well, he didn’t hang around long to check her pulse.  Emmett also shows up finally, but he also doesn’t…hold up well in the hospital’s environment.  One of the film’s funniest lines comes at this point, “Dude.  You’re…dripping.”  One by one, the captives are exposed to the evil the hospital holds within it and the side effects aren’t pretty.  Even Jessie’s boyfriend, Kevin (Jilon Ghai) who actually has time to cheat on Jessie with her friend Marie (Nicole Rayburn), and another friend, Freddy’s (Josh Holt) girlfriend, while IN the hospital, loses a lot of that jock-cockiness when his friends start literally exploding around him and the ghosts of the hospital make their presence known.

Jessie’s flashbacks intensify to where she is seeing more and more of what went on in the hospital’s past, to what caused a fire that killed many patients including Jacob.  And her friends are being “absorbed” by the evil of the hospital.  The ending is a little too “neat and tidy” but the movie is more in the “teens in danger” genre than I was hoping.  It’s not a bad film, just too formulaic and the scares are nearly scary enough.  There are some excellent and original special effects and I love the Halloween setting, but compared to “Session 9” or ‘Death Tunnel” – which were also filmed in abandoned hospitals, Linda Vista Hospital, where “Boo!” was filmed – just doesn’t’ have that suffocating, oppressive atmosphere.  I think there was a lot of potential for “Boo!” but whether it was the story or its execution or both, I was disappointed.

         

       

         

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

 
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