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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.17%
Worth A Look: 1.23%
Just Average: 6.17%
Pretty Crappy: 20.99%

6 reviews, 45 user ratings

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Boogeyman (2005)
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Makes 'The Grudge' look competent by comparison"
1 stars

Although the multiplexes have been jammed in the last few weeks with terrible horror movies (and I’m not even counting “The Phantom of the Opera”), the majority of those films have at least had some trace element, good or bad, that viewers could take with them–“White Noise” had a few interesting moments from Michael Keaton before it spun out of control, “Hide and Seek” had the sadly compelling sight of the once-great Robert DeNiro making hay out of whatever remains of his reputation and even “Alone in the Dark” was so gracelessly idiotic that you kept watching just to see how much worse it could get (and I suspect that Tara Reid’s intriguing pronunciation of “Newfoundland” may well become the Gen-Y equivalent of Tony Curtis’s immortal line, “Yondah lies the palace of mah faddah!”). The shocking thing about “Boogeyman” (and trust me, it is the only shocking thing) is there is absolutely nothing that occurs in its 86 minutes that is worth mentioning at all, even to make fun of it. The film is so utterly nondescript that when it eventually hits DVD, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sold in one of those old black-and-white boxes that you used to get generic rice in.

Cribbing from any number of recent horror films (including, inexplicably, such less-than-beloved titles as “Darkness Falls” and “They”), “Boogeyman” starts off on a dark and stormy night as little Timmy is convinced that everything in his room is really the Boogeyman. Dad, the dope who told him about the creature in the first place, comes in to tell him that there is no such thing and winds up meeting a painful closet-related demise for his troubles. Fifteen years later, Timmy (now played by Barry Watson) is all grown up, still traumatized and has never been able to convince anyone of what really happened that night. When his estranged mother dies, Timmy returns to his old home to...well, because if he doesn’t go, there isn’t going to be much of a movie. Oh, and his old youth counselor tells him that if he spends one night in the dark, run-down house that was the source of his great psychological trauma on the same day of his mother’s funeral, nothing bad could possibly happen.<

In a shocking turn of events, it turns out that the doctor was wrong and Timmy is suddenly haunted by slamming doors, strange noises and other things that suddenly occur in order to provide the film with our old friend, the “BOO!” moment–the bit in most horror films where something jumps out for no other reason than to briefly startle viewers. Because they are easy to do and generally don’t require excessive gore (important when aiming for that all-important PG-13 rating), they have become a popular motif in recent horror films. Unfortunately, director Stephen T. Kay (best known for the raw horror of the barely-remembered “Get Carter” remake) has no real understanding of how to pull off such a moment–either the basic set-up for the scare is too obvious to be shocking (if we see a character alone in a darkened church with the coffin containing his dead mother, even the dullest viewer can probably guess what will happen) or too incompetently staged and executed to be effective.<

By concentrating on the easy scares, the film largely ignores a potentially interesting idea that is briefly brought up and then discarded–that the monster really is just a figment of Timmy’s imagination that he invented to deal with his abandonment issues. Instead, we get dream sequences, babes in jeopardy, spooky kids and a monster who looks less like a terrifying monster of the subconscious and more like the former lead singer of Midnight Oil and it concludes with a bewildering finale in which Timmy somehow deduces that the only way to defeat this monster, who has taken numerous children, his fiancee, the girl-next-door and his uncle, is to smash up a bunch of old trinkets that look like they were purchased from Spencer’s Gifts. (Of course, these tchotchkes have remained in the exact same place for the past fifteen years, making their destruction even easier.)

The only scary thing about “Boogeyman” is the fact that it was co-produced by Sam Raimi, the man that helped revolutionize horror films in the 1980's with the “Evil Dead” films. Those films were fiercely original, smart, funny and contained images that burned themselves into the minds of genre fans everywhere–the very same qualities that are completely lacking here. And yet, the film has somehow become the number-one film in the country, the box-office take no doubt fueled by kids who took the publicity that it came “from the producers of ‘The Grudge’” as an inducement instead of a warning. For them, the film serves its purpose–something that is playing in the background while they are screwing around with their friends on a Friday night. For anyone else, especially those suckers in the mood for an effective and inventive horror movie, “Boogeyman” will just be an unspeakable bore.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11580&reviewer=389
originally posted: 02/10/05 23:26:50
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User Comments

12/05/17 morris campbell decent 3 stars
1/25/14 shane waste of time,eric kripke needs to stay focused on supernatural 1 stars
3/25/10 art THIS IS A remake OF 1980's THE BOGEYMAN,NOT A BAD copy. 3 stars
10/21/08 Alex Thorne ugh!. should have been fantastic, but is a total waste. scary in the wrong way 1 stars
2/15/07 Axel Leos Staring contests with doors and scary... 2 stars
2/06/07 Jim Creepy hokum spoiled by ridiculous CGI monster and ending that just sorta happens. 3 stars
11/29/06 Stanley Thai It's bad, but it's certainly not the worst movie ever. 2 stars
9/26/06 Anthony Feor The Boogeyman will get you: is this before or after I take the movie back 1 stars
6/04/06 misty really good 5 stars
4/28/06 Mary First I thought it was awesome! Barry Watson did an excellent job!!! 5 stars
3/11/06 the laughing man Not a bad story, everything else is pure crapola. 2 stars
2/26/06 Steven Lewis Crap from start to finish 1 stars
1/28/06 the laughing man Just look at the other total crap reviews. 1 stars
9/21/05 VMANIC1 A movie where nothing of real suspense or horror really happens.....LAME. 2 stars
8/23/05 Nick PG13 ratings are killing some good horror premises. Disapointed!! 2 stars
8/16/05 John Bell Face it, it's a fantasy film, not horror. You like Koontz, you'll like this film. 5 stars
8/14/05 .:*paris*:. chillin and pointless 2 stars
7/06/05 Cedric Horrible. 1 stars
7/03/05 blowsky plot twists made no sense, who was the boogeyman? 2 stars
6/17/05 gray dave needed more nudity and better fxs 3 stars
6/07/05 Darryl As horror films go, this one's not that bad. Raises some goose flesh & BW's a good actor. 4 stars
6/06/05 othree Waste of time, money, ppls, it really really really sucksass. 1 stars
5/13/05 Danno the Movie Manno Sam Raimi produced this.. there is no GOD 1 stars
5/11/05 Beardog8 Awful 1 stars
5/01/05 Valerie This was the worst horror movie I have ever seen! 1 stars
5/01/05 LUCAS it scared the shit out of me 5 stars
5/01/05 dwarzel Drive, drive, drive; talk, talk, talk; drive, drive, drive; talk, talk, talk. 2 stars
4/01/05 Tediboy As scary as watching your closet door. Similar to another crappy movie (Darkness Falls). 1 stars
3/31/05 craig varney the thing that scared me was i actually paid to see this movie 1 stars
3/14/05 Adam Whatever! this movie Kicked a....Sorry I can't do it. This film sucked ass. Really!! 1 stars
3/04/05 Leesha Just okay 2 stars
2/28/05 NC Way Over 17 Went home with a headache from all the loud bangs, jump cuts, and lack of plot or character 2 stars
2/15/05 Rock-steady worst movie, makes the others look like a masterpiece, fuck that! 1 stars
2/11/05 Kenneth Flickstein Lots of jumps... but that's all there is. Dissapointing. 1 stars
2/10/05 Stefan Halka Effective jump-scares compensate for a so-so script and make this film worthwhile. 3 stars
2/10/05 Uncle Salty Fuck me in the goat ass, Boogeyman. 1 stars
2/09/05 Meryl Worse than Darkness, that's sayin' a lot. 1 stars
2/09/05 Carolyn Rathburn It scared my oldest son, nothing scares my oldest son. 5 stars
2/09/05 jeff i rather watch cabin feaver again, lol. 1 stars
2/07/05 Sloan Knox This film totally sucked! I think I would have been better to sit a home and watch Reba! 1 stars
2/07/05 John it was worth it just to read this review afterwards 1 stars
2/07/05 mott the drupal best picture. oscars all around! ok it sucks. 1 stars
2/06/05 japanga Don't go. Its that bad. 1 stars
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  04-Feb-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 31-May-2005

  04-Mar-2005 (15)

  12-May-2005 (M)

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