Boogeyman
Starring:
Barry Watson, Lucy Lawless, Emily Deschanel
Directed By:
Stephen Kay
Grade
D-

When I saw that Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, The Grudge) was a producer on this film, I had at least a moderate degree of hope that it would provide some entertainment. The commercials showed at least some attempt at shock-horror, where images are flashed quickly at the viewer in hopes of making you jump in your seat. Once in the theater, though, I came to realize that what the commercial showed off was all that this movie had to offer.

The drive behind the main character, Tim (Barry Watson), is that he witnessed his father being taken by the Boogeyman. But, through the wonders of therapy, he's repressed it and he's convinced himself that his father ran away. But, he still lives in fear of closets and has turned his apartment into a "must see everything" shrine to his phobia. When his mother passes away, Tim returns home to face the dilapidated old homestead, only to have the horrors of his past revisited. Of course, Tim does just about everything that the normal horror protagonist would do, so much so that I wondered if I was missing my checklist scorecard that should have come with my movie ticket. From this point, the story takes some twists and turns and ends up with the standard horror ending.

Honestly, the script and plot behind this movie is riddled with holes and complete lapses of quality. Even though the film lacks anything close to originality, it's still plagued by a plot that feels like it's written by a preteen. The set-up is delivered like a morning newspaper and then when the writers apparently ran out of ideas, they starting tossing in other completely unexplained concepts like portals, time travel, and even some psychological transference. Sadly, though, some of these concepts might have proved interesting if they had been developed, or at least thought out. In the end, they just feel tacked on.

Throughout most of the film, the monster is merely hidden in the shadows and assaults the viewer by forcing them to use their imagination. When he finally does show up, he loses all manner of terror as the low-grade special effects parade him around like a decaying mannequin. This, of course, only makes the shotgun blast of shocking images that are thrown at the viewer at regular intervals all the more annoying as they prove to have little use or purpose. Well, I guess they do have purpose... but, I doubt that stealing gimmicks from other, better films, is not a purpose one wants to promote.

When it comes to production values, I would say that whoever funded this film probably gave them too much money. The cast is littered with people who might have talent, but never bother to show it. I'm sure that Lucy Lawless (Xena), who shows up in flashback as Tim's mother, is only in this flick because of Raimi. The few sets are ham-fisted representations of horror standards and I would have to say that the movie would have benefited from less computer-generated effects.

I would have to think that calling this movie Boogeyman was a waste in that the monster is never actually called Boogeyman. Of course, from the way the story is crammed down our throats, it's obvious that's what this imagination-fueled creature is, but could the writer/director/studio actually give the viewers at least a little room for themselves? I'm sure someone in a decision-making position forced this title onto the project just to give viewers some reason to open up their wallets.

- - Kinderfeld

ILS is not affiliated with, endorsed by or related to any of the products, companies, artists or parties legally responsible for the items referred to on this website. No copyright infringement is intended.