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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Boo! A Madea Halloween Review

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Official image by Tyler Perry Studios

As Halloween creeps closer, and horror movies and thrillers are starting to hit theaters for the occasion, Tyler Perry joins the bandwagon with Boo! A Madea Halloween. The film hit theaters on Oct. 22, and Perry both starred in and directed the movie, which turned out more comical than scary.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Perry explains how the idea for Boo! A Madea Halloween actually came from a Chris Rock joke, as well as how Perry included YouTubers Lexy Panterra and Yousef Erakat as minor characters.  

“Chris called and asked if he could use the character [of Madea] for his fake movie, Boo! A Madea Halloween,” Perry said. “And I was like, ‘okay, yeah sure, great.’ And when Lionsgate saw it, they said, ‘Wait a minute, you gotta make that movie!’ I was like, really? You want me to make a movie called Boo! A Madea Halloween? This was a Chris Rock joke!”

Perry’s most iconic character, Madea, returns to the big screen to help yet another family reconcile in a way only Madea can: encouraging them with vulgarity to put their foot down and get a grip. This time, Madea gets “the sense” slapped back into her nephew Brian’s bratty 17-year-old daughter, Tiffany. Brian and Madea are both played by Perry himself.

Tiffany wants to sneak off to a frat party with her very religious friend, Aday, to get the acceptance of their two older friends. She is adamant on going despite her father’s strong disapproval. The audience visibly holds their breath as they witness her talk back in a disrespectful manner. Coming from a Hispanic household, I prayed for her once, twice, and then three times as her level of sassiness increased. Her father, though, a firm believer that a child should not be hit in order to be disciplined–thanks to the trauma he endured as a child from his father–tries to reason with her calmly, though it proved to be ineffective. Not wanting her to sneak off while he’s away, Brian calls Madea to watch Tiffany.

The scene changes to Madea sitting outside her neighbor Aunt Bam’s house, giving out candy despite not liking Halloween. Instantly, the theater roared with laughter as the two exchanged fast-paced quips. Madea only agrees to come over once Brian promises payment, and he quickly regrets having asked when Madea shows up with not only his father Joe, who is also played by Perry, but with her friends, Aunt Bam and Hattie Love.

Tiffany, who is upset that her father brought “a bunch of old people” to babysit her, makes up a story about a man named Mr. Wilson who killed his entire family and comes out to haunt the inhabitants of the house after 10 p.m. Hoping that they’ll fall for it so she can sneak out safely, Tiffany then adds that the only safe place to be is inside the bedrooms. Madea insists she isn’t scared, which in turns makes Aunt Bam and Hattie turn on her and try to get her to admit that she is scared, while Joe gruffly tells everyone to shut up. Tiffany, for dramatic effect, plays with the lights to freak the group out. They all scream, except for Joe, who again tells everyone to shut up.

Tiffany ends up sneaking out, and Madea angrily goes over to the frat party to get her back. Tiffany’s friends let her know that Madea is looking for her and she hides, though after coming to the realization that Tiffany and Aday are underage, the frat boys kick them out. In the process of getting everyone out of the house, Aday goes “missing. Bam, Hattie, and Madea enjoy themselves at the party before Madea gets it shut down by the police. The frat boys then devise a plan to get back at Madea for shutting down their party, which includes going as far as hiding in the house dressed up as clowns, hacking into the television so it doesn’t turn off, the water so it doesn’t stop running, and chasing her and her friends through the woods.

Madea eventually realizes the truth when she stumbles into a church and finds Aday there, who reveals what actually happened. Madea comes up with a plan to get the boys back while teaching Tiffany a major lesson about respecting her father.

Throughout the movie, the underlying theme of a parent’s morals is questioned. A fight between the generations leaves the audience wondering which method is the right method, with Perry shedding light on an issue that’s being discussed on whether using physical means to discipline a child is appropriate. Madea and her friends grew up in an age where spanking your child when they misbehaved was appropriate, and Brian grew up in an age where spanking a child was heavily looked down upon, at the expense of having a daughter who didn’t respect his authority as a parent.

Because of my background, I know very well the importance of respecting one’s elders, and the concept of getting spanked is one that I’m very familiar with. While the movie touched on both sides of the issue of discipline, I found myself torn between what the “right” decision is. On one hand, Tiffany’s disrespectful behavior and the way she rudely talked back to her father was a result of him trying to be more of her friend rather than her parent, and it had me cheering on Madea and the gang to give her, to put it nicely, a piece of their mind. On the other hand, Brian’s constant argument on how beating your child is not an effective way to discipline them and that it only causes emotional trauma had me rethinking everything that I know.

As Hattie said in the movie, “A little love tap never hurt nobody.” The only times my sister, my cousins, or I would get hit was if we were behaving badly, not because our parents felt like hitting us. Eventually, we learned that if we want to avoid getting hit, we need to stop misbehaving, and that’s exactly what happened. Nonetheless, that was when we were kids, and now we’re young adults. We understand reason and our parents talk to us when we are doing something they don’t agree with, which is more effective than flat out hitting us. They are our friends, but they are also our parents, and the line between the two is very clear.

However, I also believe that a parent should not have total control over their children. Your child is not your property, and your job as a parent is to protect them and guide them in the right path until they are able to do it themselves. When parents start to behave as if they own their children, and try to morph them to fit their own standards, more often than not that child will act out or rebel.

Though the movie touched on that serious topic, the majority of the film was a Halloween-themed comedy, with backflipping zombies, clowns getting punched in the face, and a lot of swearing.

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Daniela Esquenazi, Culture Editor
Communications senior Dani Esquenazi is entering her third year on The Muse as Culture Editor. She likes cats, cartoons, and anything that will make her laugh hard enough that she cries or can’t breathe. Preferably both. She is friendly and will talk to you about anything and everything, even if she doesn’t know about it. Yet.   If you would like to contact this staffer, you may reach them at [email protected]
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