Boogeyman (2005) starring Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Tory Mussett, Andrew Glover, Lucy Lawless, Charles Mesure directed by Stephen Kay Movie Review

Boogeyman (2005)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Barry Watson in Boogeyman (2005)

Back in the Closet

As a child Tim (Barry Watson) witnessed his father dragged into his bedroom closet by a monster never to be seen of again. It has lead to Tim's complete fear of closets, dark spaces and an avoidance of his old home. But with his mum seriously ill Tim and his girlfriend Jessica (Tory Mussett) are heading home to see her, but it is too late. After seeking help from his childhood psychiatrist she tells him he should spend a night in his old home to deal with the demons which plague his mind. The question is that are they demons of the mind or is there really a Boogeyman?

"Boogeyman" opens on a stormy night; lightning illuminates a creepy looking house in the middle of nowhere where young Timmy is in bed and is struggling to sleep. His toy monster doll freaks him out so he rams it in his draw, a dressing gown on the back of chair looks like someone is in his room in the gloom of the darkness and so stuffs it in a draw, ramming a chair against the handle. I could go on because this opening is full on classic horror cliche right down to his father looking in the closet and the camera angle making it obvious that something bad is about to happen. For some this cliche will be uninspiring but it could have been used to great effect if it played on the audience's knowledge of horror movies and made them questioned what just happened, was it Tim's imagination, some nightmare he conjured up because his father abandoned the family but it fails to make you question it.

Anyway after the movies cliche opening scene and we jump, if I remember, 15 years to Timmy being a man afraid of the dark especially closets we get the movies best scene as we enter Tim's apartment. Not only does he have lighting capable of flooding a football pitch but all the doors are taken off the cupboards and closets. It could have been a brilliant lead in to a study of Tim's character and the lengths he goes to to deal with his fear but instead it chooses to stick with the obvious and not only do we have Tim talking to spooky looking children but we end up back at the spooky house, we get spooky visions, we get strange goings on, we even get an encounter with a crow and basically a lot more horror cliches.

In truth director Stephen Kay does a solid job of working with all these horror cliches but only does so in a typical and frankly often obvious manner to the point that you can see some of the horror scenes before they even arrive. It makes "Boogeyman" nothing special and sadly the dull characters do little to lift it from the land of mediocrity. In a way it makes "Boogeyman" an introduction to horror for the 15 year old crowd but delivers little for those who have spent years watching horror movies and will have encountered it all before.

What this all boils down to is that at best "Boogeyman" is a cliche horror movie, offering up little for those who like horror movies. But whilst generic and ordinary it has its place and that is as a horror movie for those who have not seen many horror movies.