A/V Room









Boogeyman (15)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

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 experience.

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 floor.

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.



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