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One dress connects Jacob with his grandmother Feiga. That dress is what she wore when she found a way to survive the Holocaust and using that dress’ power, Jacob finds a way to survive the boarding school he was sent to. A place with an assortment of characters ranging from the severely burned Phil, to the psychopathic Christine, as well as Frederic who has Tourette’s and Elwood who has special needs.
To say Dr. Sherman’s border school is particular is an understatement. Yet, Jacob finds a way to tap into the power of the dress to survive it. All over the course of the week he spends there.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
The film takes place in New York during the 90s – hence no cell phones or internet to make the situation more eyebrow-raising
Neither of the characters playing someone with an ailment have said ailment in real life.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
Why was Timothy killed exactly? Just because?
Christine and Jacob
While Prael as Jacob is likable, what Jerins brings out of his character as she challenges and threatens him brings about his appeal. For while Christine, at first, seems like a privileged brat, as you realize this isn’t a movie you should take too seriously, you learn to enjoy her playing a psycho. One who enjoys being hit in a way which makes you just a tad bit uncomfortable.
But, through Jacob, as she taps into his dark side, the things about himself he keeps hidden and suppresses, he also humanizes her in a way. If not make it so you find her comical. One of the best examples would be when she demand Phil to sleep on the floor with her and Jacob. Jerins’ delivery of the line “Don’t make me ask again Phil” will probably make you giggle a bit. For while she says it with some force, there is something about the tone of the film which makes it hard to take her seriously.
Follow that by the end scenes featuring a conversation between Dr. Sherman and Jacob and you’ll find yourself laughing more than you perhaps should. If not more than what might have been intended.
The Feiga Storyline
When we see Feiga she is in an attic with a Jewish family and spends a good part of her days sharpening her teeth. Now, I don’t know a huge amount about Jewish people fighting back during the Holocaust, but I could fully imagine Feiga’s storyline being expanded to a full-on movie. I’m talking addressing German soldiers raping Jewish girls, life outside of the prison camps, and how some women fought back – even if by a method which most wouldn’t dream of.
No German Translation
For some reason, during the Feiga scenes, there are no translations of what is being said. All we get is a subtitle of “Speaking German.” Which sucks because, as noted above, the Feiga storyline is quite interesting.
On The Fence
You Cannot Take This Movie Seriously
When I was looking at this as a serious horror movie, I was ready to stop watching within the first half hour. Especially when Feiga’s friend started trying to creep Jacob out. However, once Christine walks in, attitude and all, it clicks this movie is not to be taken seriously. Even as Dr. Sherman whacks the hell out of her hands.
However, if you decide to take that moment, and all that comes after, from a serious point of view, you will not enjoy this movie. It’s not toned in such a way to be taken serious and trying to force it makes everyone seem like a bad actor. Rather than playing on the ridiculous of the situation, if not how the horror genre often tries to seem. Because, really, the whole idea of why these kids got sent to this particular school, and how the school is set up, is ridiculous.
I feel the need to note that being labeled positive shouldn’t reflect on the other films with the label. Each one is labeled positive based off what was expected and delivered. With that said, I wasn’t expecting much since, like many, I don’t strongly believe most people can deliver a good horror movie. Nearly all of them I come across seem to want to focus on the gore, jump scares, entice with sexual content, and thus the story and dialog seem like an afterthought. Never mind the acting!
Yet, with Boarding School, while it does seem like an unintentional comedy, it works. I wasn’t laughing like a hyena but I did get a surprising amount of enjoyment out of this. For even when at its worse, thanks to Mrs. Sherman at times, I was either rolling my eyes with a smile or giggling. Hence the positive label for while this may fail as a horror it does decently as a comedy. If only you have the sense of humor required to find this funny.