Boogeyman

"Bad"

Boogeyman Review


I am sad to report that Boogeyman is not another biopic. It's not even clear whether this tame bit of horror shlock is about the Boogeyman or simply a Boogeyman. The film's credits list him as "the," but let's hope it's a mistake; I prefer to think that the Boogeyman would have better things to do than menace the closets of a barely-there rural town.

This Boogeyman's favorite victim is Tim (Barry Watson), and a childhood encounter leaves Tim's dad dead -- but Tim, somewhat inexplicably, still alive. Years later, Tim is living in "the city" (very similar to "a city") terrified of closets and the dark, though surprisingly at ease with an insufferable and oblivious girlfriend Jessica (Tory Mussett). When a family tragedy brings Tim home again, he must confront his frighteningly literal demons. He also gets to spend some quality time with childhood love Kate (Emily Deschanel).

A good chunk of the movie is saddled with several pounds of expositional dialogue: "that was two years ago," "well, she is my sister," and so on. Because Tim's hometown seems to be populated only by abandoned and/or haunted houses, the rest of the movie is about Tim and/or Kate and/or Jessica walking down darkened corridors, approaching doors very slowly.

Watson, with his moist version of a haunted look, seems to take all of the slow creeping around as a sign that he's in an M. Night Shyamalan film. Boogeyman does feel like an imitation of something or another, not in the least because it stars a guy who looks like at least two other actors (Timothy Olyphant and Josh Duhamel) and a girl who actually is Zooey Deschanel's lookalike sister. So barren of interesting characters is Boogeyman, that I rooted for Deschanel to survive only because she (literally) resembles a good actress.

I would gleefully point out all of the plot holes that open up in the meantime, if only I could make any sense of what exactly happens in the movie, or why. If Boogeyman has a specialty, it's a series of shock-cut jump-scares, each lovingly adorned with that favored horror combination of shrieking music and shrieking sound effects. These jumps - and I did convulse a few times - aren't indicative of genuine talent at horror, any more than a man throwing shards of glass can be said to have a keen fighting technique.

Director Stephen Kay does produce two reasonably effective sequences to bookend the film: A creepy opening in young Tim's bedroom, and a fast-paced chase through all of the Boogeyman's closets (not too many -- he ought to talk to Monsters, Inc. about the possibility of renting some more). The frantic room-hopping of the latter juices the proceedings just in time for a literal-minded conclusion.

Boogeyman is weirdly close to a children's film, with its needy, orphaned ghosts and after-school message about facing your fears. It all seems so beneath this venerable creature. Maybe in his next movie, the Boogeyman can do something more productive, like fight the Predator.

Boogeyman swing!



Boogeyman

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th February 2005

Box Office USA: $46.4M

Distributed by: Screen Gems

Production compaines: Pacific Renaissance Pictures Ltd., Screen Gems, Ghost House Pictures, Senator International

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 76

IMDB: 4.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Hans Jürgen Pohland,

Starring: as Kate Houghton, as Tim, as Franny Roberts, as Tim's Mother, as Jessica, Olivia Tennet as Terrified Girl, as Young Tim, Andrew Glover as Boogeyman, Scott Wills as Co-Worker, as Dr. Matheson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.