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Film / Boarding School

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Boarding School is a 2018 American horror film.

Jacob Jenken is a young boy who can see ghosts. He becomes especially fascinated by his grandmother, and ends up getting caught by his parents wearing her dress. He's sent to an isolated boarding school for misfits in an attempt to "cure" his affliction. Then the murders begin.

This film contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Jacob's mother's response to her son having constant night terrors is to scream in his face and threaten him, as opposed to taking him to a psychiatrist. His stepfather seems to be comparatively much better, but hired a hitman to kill him.
  • Ambiguously Evil: It's unclear whether or not the real Shermans were actually abusive, or if that's just the sadistic whims of the assassins who killed and replaced them.
  • Big Bad: Davis Jenken, Jacob's stepfather, hired the hitman killing everybody.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: The school is run by fundamentalist Christians who believe that Bible study and corporal punishment is the only solution to deviant children, and that's before the killer makes it into a front for a massacre he intends to commit.
  • Dead All Along: The Shermans were killed by contract killers who posed as them to get to a target.
  • Erotic Asphyxiation: Christine convinces Frederick to try it, then kicks his feet out from under him in a desperate hope that his death will lead to him going home.
  • The Fundamentalist: Aside from the Shermans, Frederick's mother is convinced her son's Tourette's is Demonic Possession.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mrs. Ramsay comes back to the school to pick up her son, not wanting the killer to kill him as she hired him to. Unfortunately, he's already killed the boy and kills her to keep her quiet.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Frederick has an especially severe case, having compulsive swearing to the point that he can barely complete a sentence, extreme twitching and trouble breathing.
  • I See Dead People: Jacob is regularly tormented by ghosts repeating traumatic events in their lives; others interpret it as severe night terrors.
  • Karma Houdini: The majority of the kids' parents get away with sending them to an abusive boarding school that is secretly them hiring the headmaster to kill them.
  • No Name Given: The killer is never given a name beyond his alias of "Dr. Daniel Sherman."
  • Offing the Offspring: The entire victim pool are being pursued because their parents hired the killer to kill them.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: These are spirits reliving traumatic events over and over again. Only some people can see them, usually in their dreams.
  • The Place
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Christine is one of the more proactive characters in solving the school's mysteries, but she also constantly calls people retards. This is part of the Deliberate Values Dissonance of the film being set in The '90s.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: While it doesn't come up more than once, the killer does mention some anti-Semitic beliefs he holds.
  • Psycho for Hire: The killer has been a hitman since his teens, and loves his job.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Jacob poisons his stepfather for trying to have him killed at the end of the film.
  • Sex Slave: One of the women at Jacob's grandmother's funeral tells him about the time a Nazi soldier forced her to be his slave or he'd take her and all her friends to the camps.
  • The Sociopath: Dr. Sherman, who believes that religious abuse is the best way to curb bad behavior in children. Made a lot worse by the fact that he's really a hitman who was hired to kill all the children, and killed the real Dr. Sherman to take his place.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Jacob's grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, and one Nazi made one of her friends into his sex slave under threat of sending them to the camps.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Jacob spends an afternoon dancing around in his grandmother's cocktail dress.
  • Wicked Stepfather: The killer was hired by Jacob's stepfather to kill him.