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The Boogey Man (1980)

R  |   |  Horror  |  7 November 1980 (USA)
4.4
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Ratings: 4.4/10 from 2,527 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 69 critic

Through the reflection in the mirror, a girl witnesses her mother's boyfriend's murder.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzanna Love ...
Ron James ...
Jake
...
Nicholas Love ...
Willy
Raymond Boyden ...
Kevin
Felicite Morgan ...
Aunt Helen
Bill Rayburn ...
Uncle Ernest
Llewelyn Thomas ...
Father Reilly
Jay Wright ...
Young Willy
Natasha Schiano ...
Young Lacey
Gillian Gordon ...
Lacey and Willy's Mother
Howard Grant ...
The Lover
Jane Pratt ...
Jane
Lucinda Ziesing ...
Susan
David Swim ...
Timmy
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Storyline

A young girl witnesses her brother murder a man through a reflection in a mirror. Twenty years later the mirror is shattered, freeing his evil spirit, which seeks revenge for his death. Written by David Swim <dave@fraust.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most terrifying nightmare of childhood is about to return!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boogeyman  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Zugsmith suggested to Ulli Lommel that he should cast John Carradine in a secondary role in order to enhance this film's overall commercial appeal. Moreover, Carradine's scenes were all shot in a single day. See more »

Goofs

Before the guy on the beach gets into his car as he searches for the breathing sound, the light on the ceiling inside the car is on, meaning the passenger side door was open for the cameraman. See more »

Quotes

Willy: The well!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Siskel & Ebert 500th Anniversary Special (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Not From Her World
Written by Cal Everett
Performed by 4 Out of 5 Doctors (as Four Out of Five Doctors)
Courtesy of Nemperor Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very strange film. Not easy to review!
28 January 2003 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

Spoilers

Is THE BOOGEYMAN a good movie? Not really. Is it a bad movie? Well, not really. Is it a strange movie? Oh, yeah!

THE BOOGEYMAN was most likely green-lighted after the massive success of HALLOWEEN. So obviously, the Ulli Lommel film starring the beautiful Suzanna Love contains many elements that closely resemble the John Carpenter horror film. What's odd, though, is that THE BOOGEYMAN is also an amalgamation of several other horror films, like THE EXORCIST, AMITYVILLE HORROR and slashers in general.

The story is about two kids, Willy and Lacey, who kill their mother's kinky lover, who is abusive to them. This murder happens in front of a mirror and, somehow, the man's soul haunts it. 20 years later, the two kids are now young adults (played by Nicholas and Suzanna Love, real life brother and sister?) and are haunted by that tragic night. Willy hasn't spoken a word since he stabbed the man and Lacey is haunted by kinky, terrifying dreams. Oddly enough, Lacey seems to be more troubled by the murder than Willy. When seeing a psychiatrist, Lacey is suddenly possessed by the dead man's spirit (or evil in general?). And when they visit the house where the murder happened, only Lacey goes there. During this visit, Lacey sees the mirror again and inside the mirror, the "boogeyman" is seen walking towards her. Terrified, Lacey breaks the mirror and basically "releases" the boogeyman's murderous rage (BTW, this is the best scene in the movie. Very effective). Lacey's husband brings the broken mirror to their house (why?!?!) but leaves behind a shard at the house, which becomes "alive" and causes death to those who are living in that house.

Anyone coming in contact with any piece of the mirror is killed (mostly in clunky ways) or, in Lacey's case, becomes possessed and levitates. Why?!?! I dunno. At the end, there's an exorcism of sorts, with a priest coming to the rescue. Why?!?! I dunno.

Nothing makes much sense in THE BOOGEYMAN. For example, why is Willy scared of mirrors when he's the one who killed the man and didn't witness the killing in the mirror like Lacey did? The reason why the murdered man becomes a supernatural killer is murky, or why he haunts the mirror (and not a chair or a bed) and why is Lacey possessed from time to time. Had the film shown that the murdered man had supernatural powers to begin with might have made a bit more sense. Or that the brother and sister's pent-up terror is responsible for his coming back would also have been a bit more interesting. As is, the killer's raison d'être and intentions are unclear, to say the least.

The direction by Ulli Lommel is very peculiar. I can't quite put my finger on it. Is it the way the actors move about? The editing? The action, which always seems to break midway through a scene? The odd camera angles? The unfocused attention to details? The list goes on and on. I don't know if this was intentional (I doubt it) but it's different.

When you combine all of this mishmash of several movies with the very odd direction (which at times is goofy); the good to terrible acting from the cast; and the couple of questionable scenes, like when the boy is attached to the bed (which is probably why this film became a Nasty in the UK), the final product ain't stellar and yet, in the end, it's unique, in its own peculiar way. It's never really scary (most of the action happens in the daytime) and yet the film does have a undeniably creepy feel to it. The overall creepy mood of the film is achieved by the music and the excellent cinematography, which is by far the best thing in THE BOOGEYMAN. They really don't "shoot" films like this anymore.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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