Review: Perry scares up messages in ‘A Madea Halloween’

The frightful holiday is Tyler Perry’s delivery system for his lessons on the importance of family

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Halloween is just another holiday for Tyler Perry to talk about issues facing parents and families in his stiff “Boo! A Madea Halloween.”

This isn’t a horror movie — unless you consider the atrocious pacing and thin plot to be scary. “A Madea Halloween” is rare for Perry in that it’s one of only two “Madea” films not adapted from a stage play, but it sure feels like one, with several scenes — a droning living room chat in particular — feeling like a one-act, one-room play that goes on and on and on.

Perry plays multiple roles in the film, including Brian Simmons, a father whose 17-year-old daughter Tiffany (Diamond White) gets invited to a nearby frat party on Halloween. Simmons tries blocking her from going, but has other obligations, so he enlists Madea (Perry) to babysit and keep her from sneaking out.

Madea doesn’t come alone. The outrageous granny brings along a sideshow of sidekicks in Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), Hatti (Patrice Lovely) and Uncle Joe (Perry), but the four of them are no match for a determined teen. Tiffany gets to the party and Madea and the gang follow her there and wind up in a prank war with the frat.

A bout of hijinks ensues, but it’s all background for Perry’s on-the-nose messages about family, faith, parenting and community issues. He means well, but his delivery couldn’t be more heavy-handed; he might as well turn to the camera and say, “Hi, I’m Tyler Perry,” and run a PSA.

Madea is the spoonful of sugar Perry uses to get his point across. But in this Halloween setting, it feels like more trick than treat.


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‘Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween’


Rated PG-13 for drug use and references, suggestive content, language, some horror images and thematic material

Running time: 103 minutes