Barry Watson, Lucy Lawless, Emily Deschanel
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.