Boarding School – USA, 2018

‘Jacob is having a bad day at school.’

Boarding School is a 2018 American horror feature film written and directed by Boaz Yakin. The movie stars Samantha Mathis, Will Patton and Robert John Burke.

Boaz Yakin produced 2001 Maniacs, served as executive producer for the first two entries in the Hostel franchise and provided the storyline for From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money.

A young boy becomes fascinated with the persona of his dead grandmother and is sent to an isolated boarding school for misfits run by a mysterious headmaster and his wife…

Reviews:

” …Boarding School is a truly haunting tale with a multitude of layers to its story: one that comments on gender roles, much in thanks to Jacob’s fascination with his grandmother’s attire and constantly being referred to as “feminine,” while others explore parallels between grandmother and grandson, as well as the fiercely protective streak embedded in one Jewish family’s bloodline.” Jeannie Blue, Cryptic Rock

“Like the best horror films ever made, Boarding School will leave viewers both devastated and empowered. If it doesn’t get the attention it deserves in 2018, it’s destined to become a sleeper hit fans will unearth in the years to come. While I despise the term “elevated horror”, there’s something about Boarding School that absolutely reaches the strata of high art.” Josh Millican, Dread Central

” …Boarding School is an incredibly baffling film. There is too much going on narratively without enough pay-off and there are performances that don’t grip in any way which all make for an experience in which audiences will feel every moment of the 110-minute runtime. This is truly a shame as Yakin’s script is rife will clever ideas and concepts…” Elements of Madness

“If this film had been made fifteen years ago, it would be a legend, but today it is totally ho-hum […] Frankly, Boarding School is more confused than its central character. Most of the time, it feels uncomfortable serving as a horror movie, but it doesn’t have any other ideas. Not recommended…” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

“At an hour and fifty minutes, it’s leisurely for a thriller – the horrors don’t escalate until quite late in the day – but this gives the odd characters breathing room to develop. Prael, Jerins and Alexander in particular get meaty, unconventional child roles – none of these unruly kids would have a spot in The Goonies, and Yakin invests them all with unusual quirks and compulsions.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“The young acting in Boarding School is nothing to write home about: their impressions of different mental illnesses are crude, and flat line-reading makes the band of kids a vacuum of intrigue, despite this being their grim adventure. A bigger spectacle involves the question of just how evil these adults are, but it leads to a shrug, not a shock.” Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“It’s all bizarre enough for Boarding School to be disreputably entertaining, as more flashbacks to Grandma and episodes of Jacob’s transvestism are stirred into the stew, and Jacob is an intriguing enough young hero to keep us watching as things spin out of control around him […] Yakin stages the final-act horrors with enough gusto that the viewer is more engaged…” Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue

” …the film more odd than compelling, led by a mostly all-child cast that just don’t have the weight behind them to give this the punch it needs. Naturally, as most do in this genre, it all escalates to violence, and while that does offer a flurry of energy, the film is just too flat and slow, working hard to try and ‘say something’ but ultimately limping along without any heart. A frustrating pass.” David Duprey, That Moment In

“There are a lot of ideas and plot threads running through Boarding School’s 111 minutes. Unfortunately, they never manage to come together in a real way. Jacob’s cross-dressing never becomes integral to the plot. It feels like a cheap gimmick to get some cool visuals during the film’s blood and fire filled climax. The same is true of the visions he gets of his grandmother during the Holocaust.” Jim Morazzini, View from the Balcony

“It’s all shot in such a way that by the time you realize something might happen, it’s already happening. It’s bad storytelling. If it were good, Yakin would have found a way to tip off his audience before horrific moments and let viewers simmer in dread. Instead, everything comes as a surprise. Not in the “of course” way but in the “I thought that Bud Light was a Sprite” way.” Ryan C. Bradley, Wicked Horror

Cast and characters:

  • Will Patton … Doctor Sherman
  • Samantha Mathis … Isabel
  • Sterling Jerins … Christine
  • Lucy Walters … Mrs Ramsay
  • Robert John Burke … Dick Holcomb
  • Tammy Blanchard … Mrs Sherman
  • Nadia Alexander … Phil
  • David Aaron Baker … Davis Rathbone
  • Christopher Dylan White … Frederic
  • Luke Prael … Jacob
  • Kobi George … Lenny
  • Kadin George … Calvin
  • Stephen Bogardus … Phil’s Father
  • Charlotte Ubben … Mary Holcomb
  • Allison Winn … Young Tsipi
  • Matthew Miniero … Zachary
  • Barbara Kingsley … Tsipi Landau
  • Karen Cole … Phil’s Mother
  • Chris LaPanta … Claude
  • Sonya Balsara … Young Feiga
  • Derek Zuzunaga … Jewish Boy In Hiding
  • Nicholas J. Oliveri … Elwood
  • Michael Wikes … Rabbi
  • Tim Haber … Soldier
  • Owen Zamsky … Rupert Holcomb

Running time:

111 minutes

Release:

The ‘R’ rated movie was released in the USA on August 31, 2018, by Momentum Pictures.

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