Reviewed by: Curtis McParland
HALLOWEEN—Should Christians participate in the this holiday? Answer
What’s wrong with Halloween? Answer
ghosts in the Bible
teenagers who misbehave
use of illegal drugs for recreation
|Featuring:||Tyler Perry … Madea / Joe / Brian
Cassi Davis … Aunt Bam
Patrice Lovely … Hattie
Yousef Erakat … Jonathan
Lexy Panterra … Leah
Andre Hall … Quinton
Liza Koshy … Aday
Diamond White … Tiffany
|Producer:|| The Tyler Perry Company
Oh, Madea. Love her or hate her, I think most can agree that she can knock some sense into just about anyone. Lessons were learned the last time we met at “A Madea Christmas” and more are learned in “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Madea (Tyler Perry) isn’t a huge fan of Halloween, nor are her friends Bam (Cassi Davis), Hattie (Patrice Lovely), and Joe (Tyler Perry), mainly because of the spooky happenings that occur on that day. But Brian (Tyler Perry once again) has another reason for not being too fond of the day: he has to worry about his sassy 17 year old daughter, Tiffany (Diamond White), sneaking out of the house and attending a wild Halloween frat party. With work piling up and Tiffany refusing to stay at her mom’s house with her brother, Brian hires Madea to keep an eye on Tiffany so he can get his work done. However, little do both Brian and Madea know that keeping a close watch on Tiffany should be the least of their concerns on this particular Halloween night…
Some things never change. Tyler Perry’s “Madea” films certainly deliver in terms of high octane slapstick comedy, but the story lines themselves leave something to be desired. Tyler Perry shot this Halloween fiasco on a modest $20 million budget. “Why so high?”, one may ask. I honestly have no idea, as the majority of scenes take place in somebody’s house. The film kicks off in good fashion, but tapers off quickly as Perry delivers lengthy scenes taking place in individual rooms, along with plenty of empty dialog. Jokes fly. Some are funny, but most are just plain stupid… and crude. About half an hour in, it appears that Perry is just trying to fill in his underdeveloped plot with lame jokes, while trying to focus on poorly developed characters. Sure, the acting isn’t expected to be awards worthy, either. But some of the performances from the younger crowd are just plain annoying and atrocious, at times, and Perry’s direction is just plain faulty… to put it lightly. The film has its funny moments, but there are so many problems with this film that you easily lose track of the comedic elements that actually work.
Tyler Perry is known for weaving in some subtle faith-based themes into films. However, the amount of offensive content he displays easily distracts the audience from gaining any good from his light and positive spiritual messages. Although there aren’t any sex scenes, the sexual content is still on the heavy side, as we see plenty of characters wearing revealing outfits and Halloween costumes. A few crude sexual references are made, a joke is made about masturbation, suggestive dancing comes into play, and there is a joke about a character having or not having a prostate. One scene involves a young woman suggestively dancing while wearing a thong over her tight leggings. After a group of frat boys say Madea’s breasts are fake, she exposes them (off camera) to the group and invites them to touch them. They do, and run away horrified. Madea mentions the days when she used to be a stripper and makes a few references to “hos” and says that her “inner whore is coming out.” Two frat boys hide a couple girls up in their rooms and later hope to get a little more intimate (nothing happens). Brian tells Tiffany that frat boys at parties want just one thing. The conversation doesn’t go any further. A few criminals make passes at other men, and characters mention that they’d like to see others a bit more uncovered. A few jokes are made questioning Madea’s gender.
The violence is on the milder side, as most of if comes from Madea as she talks about knocking some sense into kids. She punches and slaps a few characters, and one character hits another with a cane. Characters get chased around, take some tumbles, and a fight takes place on a bus on its way to prison. There are some gruesome horror images in this Halloween tale, including characters wearing zombie clown costumes and a character wearing bloody makeup making it look like her throat is sliced open. Conversations are heard about how a character ended up in the hospital after being beaten by Madea, and another story involves him being pushed off a roof with his privates landing on a pencil.
The language is rather heavy, as we hear around 20 uses of the s-word (repeated uses of bulls*** in one scene), a partially muffled f-word, and about four uses of the n-word. God’s name is abused (once paired with “d**n”), as is Jesus’ name. The phrase “Lord” or “Oh Lord” is interjected a few times, as well. Typical for a Madea film, we hear north of 100 uses of “d**n,” over 70 uses of “h*ll,” and a good handful of vulgarities, including “a**,” “b**ch,” and “p*ss.”
Alcohol consumption is pretty much limited to the scenes where the frat Halloween party takes place. One character gloats about how she has a legal prescription for marijuana, and the drug itself gets some screen time. Some joints are smoked on a few occasions, and one even shares with another elderly character. A character quips, “The Lord will bless you if you share your weed.” Some characters light and smoke cigarettes, and the police find marijuana stashed in a house. A character is apparently high and mentions that she has “the munchies.”
Although Tyler Perry’s latest “Madea” installment contains problematic content, it still makes a few positive nods towards Christianity (more or less) and displays the consequences of showing disrespect towards elders, partying, and underage drinking. Some characters appear to have a faith in God and Jesus, but they are quite shy about displaying it. “I ♥ Jesus” is carved into a pumpkin, there are quite a few positive mentions of God, Jesus, and “The good Lord,” and one scene involves Madea running into a church, yelling “Help me, Jesus,” and asking to be saved after being chased by a group of zombies (frat boys). Of course, the scene is played for laughs, and it’s apparent that Madea doesn’t really take faith seriously, and the Gospel isn’t clearly conveyed (a missed opportunity from a Christian director). All Madea really seems to care about is being saved from the zombies, instead being saved from her sins. I must also mention that there are a few darker references to spirituality when Tiffany tries to scare the older crowd with a knock off ouija board. There is mention of Halloween being “The devil’s holiday.”
Brian cares about the well-being of his daughter, Tiffany, but she shows him constant disrespect. Brian pretty much lets everyone walk over him—from his boss, to his kids, to his ex-wife, and, of course, Madea. But yet again, Madea pushes just about everyone around, so no surprise there. Throughout the film, there are soft lessons learned about the value of family and friendship, but the heart of the movie really doesn’t kick in until the final 30 minutes or so. But before that “heart” actually kicks in, we are assaulted with a ton of suggestive content and dialog, lumps of foul language, and some icky horror images. The use and constant mention of marijuana is completely unnecessary, as well.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” —Exodus 20:12
Tiffany and her friends learn that when pranks go wrong people can get hurt, drug possession can get you in deep trouble, and that underage activity has severe consequences. Tiffany, in particular, though, learns that parents and elders need to be respected, largely due to the fact they’ve provided for her her entire life. Some of Madea’s disciplinary tactics are questionable, but it is obvious that she means well by most of her actions and doesn’t intend to harm anyone. That is, most of the time… Sadly, the heart of Madea’s Halloween fable is bemuddled by all the offensive content, and the lessons learned are lost in the dark. Add in a weak story, poor direction, and some painful acting, and you just get one hot Halloween mess. If you’re looking for a movie to take the entire family to this Halloween, avoid the tricks and treat yourself by avoiding “…A Madea Halloween.” I don’t recommend this film for any audience, due to the content concerns listed above.
“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” —Romans 13:13-14
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy—“d*mn” (100+), “God-d*mn” (1), “Jesus” (2), “Oh Lord” (2), “Lord” (1), “Lord have mercy” (1), “hell” (70+), f-word (1), s-words (20+), “a**” (25+), “b**ch,” “p*ss” / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.