Rated | Alphabetical
Stephen Kay, USA, 2005
I'm beginning to understand how Simon Cowell of
American Idol fame feels when sonic assassins confront him, each claiming to
be a superstar in waiting. It is no different with the horror genre of cinema.
They promise you Romero and Hitchcock, but they deliver
William Hung and Yoko Ono. See where this is heading?
Boogeyman deals with a man tormented by the disappearance of his father.
That's certainly understandable. However, what makes it worse is that dear ol'
dad disappeared when the man was only a child. And what really makes it
worse is that his father was snatched right before his eyes into a closet by...
you guessed it: the Boogeyman!
Since that time, our protagonist is very wary of closets. (He was probably the
only guy in the world who was petrified by Pixar's
Inc. a few years back. Although that Billy Crystal can be one scary mutha.)
He's so scared of closets, in fact, that he goes so far as to take the doors off
all his cabinets, and having a refrigerator with a glass door with perpetual
light inside. And by the way, Clive Barker must have designed the bedroom this
kid lived in. I mean really, there are open windows with fluttering drapes,
creepy things hung about the room, a doll positioned in a menacing stance right
next to the kid's bed, and clothes draped over chairs that yield a terrifying
silhouette in the moonlight. Cripes, why not just drape a cadaver over the
child's headboard? I can see why the Boogeyman picked this kid's room to crib
Anyway, fast forward fifteen years later, and the traumatized kid is now a man
still haunted by that memory. Therapists have almost convinced him that he made
up the story to deal with his dad's leaving... almost.
As an adult going to visit his girlfriend's parents, our man gets a premonition
of his mother's death, followed by a phone call announcing -- you guessed it
again -- his mother's death. Returning home for the funeral, our hero decides it
would be a good idea to go knock around the old house he grew up in. (Yeah,
sure, I mean, why not? When spooky coincidences happen to me, the first
thing I do is head back to scenes where I was traumatized as a kid. Heck, I'm
not the only one: Laurence Station still makes regular visits to Neverland Ranch
whenever he gets a hangnail. But I digress.)
The trip home conjures all kinds of bad memories from our buddy's childhood.
There are frantic camera shots and attempts at cheap thrills along the way, but
the fact of the matter is that for, oh, I'd say an hour and fifteen minutes,
this is a film about nothing -- and not in the Seinfeld sense of the
term, either. (Note to aspiring directors: Creaking doors and spooky camera
angles do not count as substance.)
Predictably, the whole PG-13 mess builds toward an inevitable showdown with the
dreaded Boogeyman. A setup this dreadfully long has to be worth the wait, right?
Right? (Cue sounds of crickets chirping and tumbleweed blowing by.)
So what do we get for sitting through all that buildup? We get a crappy CGI
Boogeyman so lame, he couldn't scare a French person into surrendering. Man,
what a letdown. Instead of some creepy dude lumbering out of the closet, we get
zooming cameras chasing spirit winds and pseudo-Poltergeist phantoms.
This just blows! And the movie had such an excellent premise to work with, too.
Also, thanks to the PG-13 anchor, we don't get treated to any sweet nudity,
especially from the hot brunette who lives next door to the haunted dwelling.
C'mon folks, you gotta gimme something to work with here! Sadly, all the
audience gets is a clichéd setup and an uninspired ending. And that just ain't
Boogeyman deals with the all-too-common fear of the monster in the
closet. Think about it: What would you do if there were a man hiding in your
closet? If you're one of the unenlightened sheep who regularly writes in to
complain about my reviews, you'd probably splash on some Brute aftershave and
recline invitingly across your satin-sheeted bed. As unappealing a thought as
that is, it's far, far scarier than anything in Boogeyman. And somewhere
along the line, someone forgot that to scare is the first job of a scary movie.
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