SEPTEMBER 19, 2007


Last week I had the opportunity to see a new film from Anthony C. Ferrante, a former Fangoria writer who moved on to filmmaking (oddly enough, it was on the same day I watched Halloween Night, also by a Fangoria writer!). As the film wasn’t finished, I didn’t consider it for review, though it was certainly enjoyable enough that it made me want to check out his first film, Boo. Also, it was screened in glorious 48.6 surround sound! “48.6?” You might say? Indeed. 48 discrete channels, 6 discrete subwoofers. It was invented by Alan Howarth, whom some of you may know from his collaborations with John Carpenter. Needless to say, it sounded awesome.

I wish I was there to watch Boo, which had a well done sound mix for a DTV effort. Sure, this means that some nonsensical and badly delivered dialogue would be that much harder to bear, but take the good with the bad. There were a lot of good surround effects and ambient sounds that would have been well suited for this king of surround systems.

As said, some of the dialogue was ridiculous. One line, which only makes sense in half-assed theory, was a particular howler: “You know how some hotels don’t have a 13th floor? This hospital shouldn’t have a third.” What? The lack of a 13th floor is based on superstition. If there was no 3rd, the bad shit would have just happened elsewhere! Like I said, in theory it’s a cool line, but when you think about it, it doesn’t make any goddamn sense. There’s also a line that makes fun of the film’s own abundance of exposition, which to me is sort of like the filmmakers saying “Touché” for themselves, but oh well.

The film is actually pretty fun though. The pacing is quite good, as the ghostly happenings begin about 20 minutes in, which is fine by me. Again, it’s a direct to video movie. I don’t expect anything out of such a film other than mild entertainment and not wanting to punch my TV in the face. On that level, Boo delivers. Plus, unlike the last, what, 20 DTV movies I’ve watched, it was anamorphic. In fact, for whatever problems the film has, there is ample evidence that Ferrante and his crew actually give a shit; using practical effects as often as possible, throwing in some subtle references to other movies (Santa Mira!!!), and thankfully not having the characters do too many stupid things once they realize their lives are in danger. Like I’ve said before, so long as the film is made with genuine enthusiasm and shows basic respect for the audience, I can easily forgive its other faults. I probably won’t ever watch the movie again, but I certainly wouldn’t try to dissuade someone from checking it out on their own.

There’s also a decent amount of extras, including a look at the makeup effects that’s pretty well done. There’s a bunch of deleteds, though they don’t add up to much, plus 2 other featurettes and a commentary. Though I must point out – the video menus are annoyingly long. When I click “Special Features” I want to see the damn menu, not 15 seconds of video in between.

Plus the main girl is incredibly cute AND her boyfriend cheats on her with a girl who isn’t as hot as she is, which is always a hilarious subplot in movies. Dammit, movie characters; if you’re gonna cheat, cheat UP!

What say you?


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