Review 1: Boogeyman (1/5)

Boogeyman

Directed by Stephen T. Kay

Starring: Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Tory Mussett

Released on February 4, 2005

Running time: 1h 29m

Rated PG-13

Genre: Horror

I don’t mind hearing horror stories that I’ve heard so many times before. Well, I don’t mind it that much. But it has to have a strong story, strong characters, strong execution, and legitimate scares in order to be effective. This movie fails in all four of these departments.

We start out with our protagonist, Tim, as a child. He calls his dad into his room, as he sees the presence of some sort of supernatural being that has come out of his closet. Tim’s dad is pulled into the closet and killed when he investigates.

We flash forward to fifteen years later, where it is revealed that Tim, now played by Barry Watson, spent the rest of his childhood years in therapy, and is now heading out into the real world as an adult.

Through a sequence of disjointed and somewhat pointless and forgettable events, Tim learns that he must confront and defeat the creature that has haunted him throughout his life – the Boogeyman itself.

It would be nice if Tim knew how to give off more than the one facial expression he has: indifferent, but slightly mopey.

It would be nice if Tim’s girlfriend, Jessica, played by Tory Mussett, didn’t seem like just sexy eye candy.

It would be nice if the story wasn’t ungodly hard to follow in Boogeyman‘s third act. Heck, it’s hard to tell when the third act even begins; the movie weaves its story like a quilt.

Even in the final confrontation between Tim and the Boogeyman – snicker – the Boogeyman itself does not look scary. The Boogeyman is supposed to be the epitome of childhood fear, so we expect something visually terrifying. But no. Whenever you look at the Boogeyman itself, you know you’re looking at computers. And very cheap computers at that. Even films like The Conjuring, though low-budget, didn’t need computers!

It would be nice if the movie was actually scary. I will give kudos to the movie for creating a decently dark, gloomy, unsettling atmosphere, but that’s as far as it goes. To make a scene scary, you can’t just throw in a bunch of jumpscares. You need to create atmosphere. You need to build up suspense. (Hellraiser wasn’t necessarily jumpscary, but it knew how to get under your skin, and expel you from your comfort zone.)

Oh, and I should note: throughout much of the movie…sigh…nothing happens.

Frankly, it’ll be fine for family viewings, but don’t expect anything spectacular.

It’s mostly just…forgettable.

Final Verdict: 1 out of 5 stars.