Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:Cast and crew interviews. Deleted
scenes. Storyboards. Visual effects progression.
FROM its first five minutes, viewers might be forgiven for thinking
that Boogeyman is going to offer them a genuinely unsettling horror
It plays well on a child's fear of being alone in the dark, making
the most of shadows and strange noises before, quite literally,
having the boogeyman strike - claiming the life of said child's
father by sucking him into the closet.
Sadly, from that moment onwards, it's a downhill affair.
Despite boasting the claim that the movie marks the second feature
from Ghost House Pictures, the company formed by Sam Raimi and
Rob Tapert (the first being The Grudge),
it quickly proves to be a hopelessly flawed affair that completely
squanders the potential displayed in its opening moments.
Barry Watson (of TV's 7th Heaven fame) stars as the child in
question, Tim, who was forced to watch from behind the bed-sheets
as his father was taken from him by something terrifying lurking
in the shadows of his bedroom.
Fifteen years on, Tim appears to be a well-adjusted journalist
(if there is such a thing), but his outwardly cool demeanour gives
way to a terrified wreck once the lights go out and he is placed
in a strange environment.
Tim remains convinced that the boogeyman will one day return
and has done everything in his power to ensure he doesn't become
a victim - thereby removing every dark corner in his apartment,
as well as all the closets, and making sure the bed is on the
When his mother dies, however, Tim
reluctantly decides to return to his childhood home to confront
the evil presence once and for all - only to find his own sanity
being questioned and the people he loves disappearing.
The ensuing coming-of-age horror is billed as a multi-layered
film that combines moments of exceptional horror frights and 'don't
look' terrifying moments with a characterisation and storytelling
that are more often found in psychological drama.
Yet while there are jumps aplenty (13, we're told), the film
is seriously lacking in terms of character and logic.
Watson conveys wide-eyed fear fairly convincingly but is too
often let down by a lacklustre script that fails to explain anything,
while his support cast, including the likes of Tory Mussett as
his girlfriend, are so thinly drawn that audiences will have difficulty
caring about what happens to them.
The fate of certain characters is poorly explained and open to
question after the final credits, while the effects-driven finale
feels totally out of keeping with what's come before.
Indeed, director, Stephen Kay, seems to be having so much fun
lining up the shocks that he forgot about everything else, so
much so that viewers are likely to feel extremely cheated come
the end credits.
It comes as little surprise to find that he also directed the
lamentable Get Carter remake, starring Sylvester Stallone.
Boogeyman is, therefore, one to commit to the dark place of your
own film-going schedule.