tyler-perrys-boo-a-madea-hallowee-poster#1 movie, weekend of 10/21-10/23/16

Gross: $28,501,448

What it is: The latest film from writer/director/actor/etc. auteur Tyler Perry, in which his signature character Madea (a brassy older woman played by Perry himself in drag) is tasked with keeping an eye on two rebellious teenage girls on Halloween night.

I was glad to see that this had hit #1, as I’ve been interested in checking out Tyler Perry’s work for a while now, and as I’m the former host of a horror movie screening series, a Halloween-themed spooktacular seemed like the best possible opportunity to do so. As it turns out, there aren’t any genuinely supernatural goings-on in this movie (all the really creepy stuff consists of a series of pranks perpetrated by some goofily villainous frat bros), which was kind of disappointing, but even though this was basically a two-hour sitcom episode it was still a good time. The pacing is nuts, with some scenes going on way longer than they have any right to, and some of the performances are too broad even for this material, but Perry is a very funny performer and the general tone is pleasantly good-natured. Well, actually, the movie’s “Parents today don’t discipline their kids enough” message occasionally veered into seemingly advocating child abuse, but I understand that that sort of thing is just part of Perry’s thing.

I do wonder how my perception of this movie is affected by my race. If I were black, would I feel like Perry is doing me a disservice by perpetuating some African-American stereotypes via his characters? Would I think he’s “cooning”? Or if I did, would that just mean that I’m as much of an overly critical jerk black as I am white? Ha ha, race relations in America – that’s what’s really scary, am I right? Happy Halloween, everyone!

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