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Soooo I ended up seeing this film at the cinema cos my half brother is
a moron who only likes bland Hollywood movies... I could have said
no... no... I won't suffer the indignity but foolishly I figured "Hey,
at least I'm not paying for it" and tagged along... but I did pay... oh
lord I did pay...
This film is basically about a middle class twenty-something advertising executive (with a hot rich girlfriend and a really slick car)... who is frightened of cupboards!!!!!!!! CUPBOARDS!!!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. This is apparently due to some childhood trauma that occurs in the opening scene but to be honest I'm not sure exactly what happened cos the sequence looked like it was shot and edited by an epileptic who had taken an amphetamine overdose. It seems to have become accepted in Hollywood that the best way to make a scary movie is to direct it like a Britney spears music video... admittedly thats pretty terrifying but not if you:
Cast bland, wooden actors... Base all your scares on tired haunted house cliché's (The wardrobe scene was one of the most poorly executed horror sequences I've ever seen, void of tension, void of style and the pay off is so lame even a black cat hissing and jumping on him would have been preferable)... Layer the most annoyingly intrusive score over everything... Make no attempt at narrative cohesion... Drench the final scene in childish CGI...
If this film had contained even a shred of lightheartedness about it I might have found it tolerable but everything about it was so po-faced and serious, I find it hard to believe anyone could enjoy this film on any level. It's almost impossible to relate to any of the characters, mainly because they are so miserable and unlikeable and as a result it's impossible to CARE whether they live/die/disappear/get snatched by a stupid purple comic book character.
I recommend that anyone who is remotely considering seeing this film does not do so for their own well being and the sake of their souls... Don't become like me! Don't become a bitter purple CGI freak who hides in cupboards thinking about how much he wants to flame this film on every website on the internet... I hate this film! AAARGH!
Tim (Barry Watson) is a young man with a great trauma: when his father
left his family sixteen years ago, in his imagination his father was
indeed taken by the Boogeyman. In Thanksgiving, while visiting the
family of his girlfriend Jessica (Tory Mussett), his uncle Mike (Philip
Gordon) calls him informing that his mother has just passed away. Tim
travels to his hometown, meets his former crush Kate Houghton (Emily
Deschanel) and advised by his shrink, decides to spend the night is in
old home to face the monster of his imagination. Along the night, weird
events happen with Tim and his closest friends.
"Boogeyman" was really a great deception for me. I saw the trailer and I expected a promising story, exploring the fear of darkness of children through the American legend of the monster in the closet. (Note: in Brazil, we do not have the legend of the "monster in the closet". The legend of the Boogeyman does exist (it is called "Bicho-Papão"), but its location is not specified and certainly is not necessarily in a closet). However, the story is very empty, without explanation, and with an awful and ridiculous conclusion. In the DVD, there is a not good alternate ending, but better and better than the released conclusion. The scary effects and the music score are the best this movie can offer. "Boogeyman" is watchable, not a masterpiece of the genre, but also not among "the worst horror movies" as commented by some users. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "O Pesadelo" ("The Nightmare")
Let's acknowledge the fact that practically everyone HATES this movie.
Yet it had a lot of potential. What went wrong? Producers, film
students, TAKE NOTE. Its EVERYTHING BAD in a horror movie, and makes us
feel cheated, insulted, and burned.
Its the kind of movie that LOOKS like something we'd be interested in. The trailer showed a pretty creepy scene: a slow walk to a front door of a Gothic-style Victorian farmhouse, a scary hand on the door. The stuff of childhood nightmares and imaginings.
Additionally, the movie had a lot going for it -- a spooky-as-hell soundtrack, a seriously creepy Gothic farmhouse which even old-house fanatics might shudder at being alone in at night. Small-town stagnation and isolation. Unhelpful country people who just don't like outsiders. The stuff of moody, haunting atmospheres.
But, rather than play on a slow, spooky, dreamlike ambiance the house, the terrors, the memories of the lost dad and his murder/abduction, we get a woosh of distracting angles and wild camera swoops and flashes of light that are neither realistic nor scary.
The eerie soundtrack is constantly interrupted by flashes of light and noise that are supposed to 'scare' but show nothing and only interrupt the brooding atmosphere.
And what is the Boogeyman in this movie, anyway? Balled lightning? An explosion of distorted, computer-animated birds? a malfunctioning transmitted cartoon image of the grim reaper? Hard to tell. Bad computer animation spoils the image. We can't even imagine.
We certainly do NOT see any Boogeyman. Not the guy with the creepy hand on the door in the trailer. If we see anything at all, it's like video game graphics distorted by a glitch in the imagery.
C'mon, producers -- GIVE US THE BOOGEYMAN. Not videogenic mess.The Boogeyman must be a CHARACTER we can see -- preferably something that talks or has some other habit that frightens us. Freddy Krueger, Jeepers Creepers, the Tall Man on Phantasm, Reverend Henry Kane on Poltergeist or the chauffeur on Burnt Offerings who is too thin and tall and has a freaky, inappropriate grin and piercing stare -- are Boogeymen. (Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Leatherface are perhaps another type of boogyman, but their agenda is less frightening because they exist merely to kill)
Rather than being killed or abducted by the boogeyman which we see in the trailer,we instead see people being bounced around the walls of rooms and hallways like rubber balls. Just one impact at this overdone velocity would kill a person instantly, but here, we see people bounce around the walls and get back up, unharmed, to 'fight.' and see victims instantly wrapped in saran rap, etc. On and on it goes.
Directors, producers, please take note. It just doesn't work. Things that move faster than the eye can see are not scary. Cheap computer graphic effects don't work. Loud, startling noises are a cheap substitute for brooding horror or shocking terror, and don't work.
The true 'Boogeyman' archetype that really scares the crap out of us is a slow, menacing presence. We may only get glimpses of him or he may torment us from the closet or under the bed as in Poltergiest, or he may come a'calling like a traveling salesman or road menace. True Boogeymen must be seen in closets, we see him in the mirror on closet doors, we see him hanging like a scarecrow or hanging from a noose like a kite caught in a tree. They come uninvited to take what they want; they can appear out of nowhere and can seem to disappear just as fast; they usually have personalities and voices that creep us out no matter how many years pass; they are invincible, and they like for you to learn of their invincibility as you try to fight them off. They love to torment and terrorize their victims before killing/abducting/soul eating/dragging them off to hell or whatever they do.
True boogeymen may have some weaknesses. In better horror movies and nightmares, they can sometimes temporarily be resisted or staved off by certain psychological or spiritual disciplines, or religious rituals but they cannot really be destroyed. At best, they may leave us to find an easier target, but they usually get what they want.
I was not impressed at all with this movie; I'm even more disgusted by the fact that they had a lot of good actors/sets/technologies to work with.
For instance, the character of Franny Roberts (Skye McCole Bartusiak), a mysterious, attractive, but oddly troubled twelvish-year-old girl who seems to know what's going on, was by far a more interesting character in this film than the 'Boogeyman.' In fact, she was the most interesting character in the movie: weirdly sad, melancholy, yet somewhat a tomboy -- like a lost childhood friend we forgot about and kinda miss. Why wasn't she given a bigger role?
And the protagonist Tim (Barry Watson) did a pretty convincing act of being legitimately scared and haunted by a childhood memory. They (Tim and the little girl, Franny) should have been the ones, together, to thwart or vanquish the "boogeyman.' Not the guy and the ex-crush 'Kate.'
Remember, the boogeyman should be a menacing presence; a collector of souls, a tormentor who plays games with his victims before taking them away. Boogeymen may have vulnerabilities, but cannot really be destroyed. Please, no more computer-animated lightning explosions and MTV to represent the boogeyman.
Most of all, the Boogeyman needs to be a character, and not just be bad graphics a-flashing. The boogeyman needs a voice and creepy antics. He is an abductor of souls, the tormentor of children, he is somewhat invincible but can be driven away, and always takes his helpless victims to a fate worse than hell.
Yep, it's official. Overproduced garbage is what Hollywood considers
horror thrillers these days. Another in the long line of generously
funded but substantially lacking horror films somehow finds
distribution, this time it's "Boogeyman".
A young man must content with his childhood fears of the Boogeyman, who has seemingly "stolen" his father and others close to him. Without giving anything away, that's the extent of the nonexistent plot. There are no surprised or character development, which culminates in a ho-hum ending.
As others have pointed out, the director must've thought he was filming a video for MTV, which camera swoops and shakes (not to mention loud bangs) passing for scares.
Save your money and your time and rent a low-budget horror film instead, the reward will be much greater.
* out of ****
I watched this movie first on DVD with the lights turned off, no
distractions, and was surprised at how thrilling the movie was. So much
so that I had to buy the DVD. I came to IMDb to see some particulars of
the cast and was amazed at all the people that did not like the movie.
I have certainly seen my share of horror movies starting back when Halloween first opened and through all the slasher flicks of the early 80's and the Japan-based horror movies of today. There have certainly been scarier movies than Boogeyman, but I sure got my share of thrills, jumps, and scares out of it.
Sure, there are some unanswered questions at the end but I find that often in this genre like stuff that doesn't make sense, why did that happen, and what happened to...? The reason you watch a horror movie is to be scared, thrilled, and frightened and with this movie you will be.
The best thing I liked seeing was that this movie didn't have to resort to all the blood and gore that most horror movies seem to have just to be scary. So pop that DVD in, get the kids out of the room, turn off the lights, and just enjoy the movie for what it tries to do, give you a thrill.
The one genuinely scary moment in director Stephen Kay's laughable
excuse for a horror film occurs during the end credits, when the
audience discovers that it actually took three professional
screenwriters to pen this abominable nightmare. The last few years have
been a golden age for modestly budgeted fright flicks. Last fall's The
Grudge proved that if you market a film well and release it at just the
right time, there's no end to the money you can make. I walked away
from that film rather disappointed, but my confusion paled in
comparison to the slack-jawed bewilderment that consumed me during
The film's opening sequence features a man being ravaged by an unseen monster while his son observes helplessly. Fifteen years later we discover that Tim (Barry Watson) has never properly dealt with his father's sudden, grisly death. After learning that his mother has passed away, Tim returns home for her funeral. While in town he decides to face his fears by staying overnight in his unusually creepy boyhood home.
A series of muddled, incomplete ideas figure their way into the plot, but ultimately the story is nonsensical and just plain stupid. As with most recent horror films, Boogeyman provides no real terror, and instead attempts to startle the viewer by adding abrupt, loud noises to the soundtrack. The final straw is the title character itself, revealed briefly during the film's climax to be nothing more than a ridiculous, computer-animated mess. Avoid this moronic snoozefest like the plague.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Apparently very little continuity is required to bring a movie to the screen these days. This is one movie that would have benefited from a massive ground-up screenplay re-write. Boogeyman begins in the childhood bedroom of our hero, Timmy. It is here Tim witnesses his father being brutally...um...what? Killed? Abducted? Sucked into another dimension? I guess we will go with killed for now, killed by something in his closet. Why do we not see the assailant at this time? Because of the stunning plot twist later that reveals the horrifying truth as to the identity of the true killer? Actually no.
Flash forward fifteen years and we have a psychologically unstable Timmy (Barry Watson-or "Matt" from 7th Heaven) living a door free lifestyle in the city. Staying with his girlfriends parents he is visited(?) by his mother in a vision yelling at him to look at her?! What?! Why!? Huh??? The reason for this event will be revealed later in the movie. Wait, no actually it will not.
His mother had just died and Timmy decides to go back to his childhood home, the one with the killer closet, to settle family affairs. Here is where stuff gets weird. While at the house he is visited by a young girl with a basic understanding of what is going on.(she may be the only one) She is found with a backpack full of missing children posters which Timmy open and rifles through. These missing children suddenly appear around our hero clamoring for him.(?) It is later suggested these are all the children that were abducted by the Boogeyman. Why these children are able to visit Timmy and explain what is going on-yet his father cannot, is important and will be revealed later in the movie. Wait, no actually it will not.
Later Timmy leaves the house and stays at a motel where his girlfriend is abducted (not killed!?) by the Boogeyman. Here is where Tim finds a 'portal' in the closet at the motel that leads back to the house.(?) Later in a suggested time warp(?) Timmy finds the Boogeyman fighting with his still alive(?) girlfriend and begins to pursue the evil entity in earnest.(it is at this time the film abandons the fear of the unknown and show us the boogeyman, making this film just a little less thrilling) After destroying all his childhood trinkets in his room, the Boogeyman is sucked into the closet for good, never to return .What?!?! What happened to his girlfriend? Is his father and uncle still alive? In the epilogue the nature of the Boogeyman and the fate of those taken by him will be fully explained. Wait, no actually it will not.
With a myriad of unanswered questions still lingering, one understands the true importance of a complete plot. Which is why this movie needed a severe re-write. The acting was good enough and the cinematography and direction was typical for a thriller. But the damn thing just did not make sense. Childhood fears coming to deadly fruition can be a great concept if fleshed out with complete ideas and good direction. You wont find that here. For a well done 'monster under the bed' type movie, check out this classic from your video store. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084516/
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pros: An enjoyable take on the boogeyman we fear as children. Nice
Raimiesque shock editing.
Cons: Terribly incoherent storyline. Bad acting.
Boogeyman takes the mythos of the monster in the closet and the monster under the bed or, as seen in the film, above the dropped ceiling panels and gives it a bit of a spin. Tim, our protagonist, is a little boy when the story begins. He's in bed on a scary night and the shadows are playing tricks on him. Or, are they? Was that a hooded man standing in his room? No, it's just his jacket slung over a chair back. But wait, did it move? He turns on the light and, sure enough, the jacket is now strangely on the floor. He makes enough noise in his fear that his dad comes in to check.
This is a nice beginning as director Kay nicely captures the feelings many of us had when we were little. Afraid of the dark. Able to read all sorts of looming danger into dim sights and faint sounds. And then, finally, a parent coming in to dispel all the notions.
Then the story breaks the rules. The boogeyman is real, pulls dad into the closet and takes him away! Oh, and they weren't really "faint" sounds. This is a very loud house. It creaks and groans like a ship. Kay is not subtle with the sounds for shock value either as sudden screeching and hissing will jolt you out of your seat. Yeah, it's a cheap way to deliver a shock but it worked.
Tim is traumatized and we cut to 15 years later. He's never gotten over the ordeal. He has no closets in his apartment and has even removed the doors from the cabinets. Somehow, though, he's managed to score both a really mint '67 Mustang and a hot, rich blonde (dyed) girlfriend. That's pretty impressive since he doesn't show many qualities. Tim really doesn't do much in the movie other than mumble and give looooooong silent looks of concern.
At his hot girlfriend's house he has a vision of his mother (Lucy Lawless) telling him to look at her. I didn't understand this, and it was never really explained. In fact, there were a lot of disconnected plot lines and loose ends in the movie. Noting multiple writers, I'm guessing this was not a concerted effort but instead went through a lot of patching and overhauls.
Anywho, he knows something is wrong and sure enough, even as he is explicitly stating that something is wrong, his Uncle Mike calls. His mom is dead. Well, Tim has gone along with what his psychiatrists have told him, that there is no boogeyman, that his dad "left" them for no reason, etc. But he darn well knows that the boogeyman is not only real but apparently powerful enough to kill Xena, the Warrior Princess. If the official cause of death for Xena was mentioned in the movie, I missed it. But her face was covered with unnatural scarring. So, I'm guessing the boogeyman did it.
Not only does he return for his mom's funeral but also decides to face his fears and stay in the house. Facing the boogeyman is a theme that the movie sticks in front of us several times. Tim turns out to be rather reluctant to do so, and actually ends up boarding all the closet doors shut at one point.
While at home, he reconnects with a childhood friend who seems to have pined for him, and perhaps him for her as well. Like so many plot points this was incredibly vague and seemed to be another subplot shoehorned in from one of the many revisions. His hot girlfriend also shows up unannounced, having driven to see him. Both of these ladies are due for a visit from the boogeyman.
He also finds a little girl hiding in the tool shed. She explains that she lives nearby and leaves her backpack. He discovers lots of missing posters of children. The children from the poster suddenly appear to him in another vision, all crowded around, looking perfectly healthy (unlike his mom) and calm. They did all grasp at him though so that must mean something dire.
There are some incomplete segments that follow involving his hot girlfriend being taken by the boogeyman from a motel room. His childhood friend almost getting the same. And the little girl turning out to have been abducted in 1985 when she takes him to a house where another man lived who also tried to face the boogeyman.
Oh, and the boogeyman hiding spots (closets, beds, dropped ceilings) are also portals.
We're not sure who lives and dies, since his hot girlfriend was clearly seen alive at some point and still struggling. This may have been a time warp, though, since he left a blood smear on the bathtub which was not there when he first noticed her missing, was there when he went back with the childhood friend, but just made when he struggled If that sounds confusing, so is the movie.
Another neat concept (to me) was revealed at the end where it seems the boogeyman is able to manifest himself through those same familiar items that take on a more sinister image in the dark. By destroying the items, Tim was able to destroy the boogeyman.
Not all plot points will be resolved but the movie is a fun ride. Relaxed and expecting a bad movie, I got an enjoyable thrill. Slow pacing and a muddled story made the experience uneven.
I wasn't familiar with Kay but noted during the movie how much he had picked up from Raimi, particularly his Evil Dead style close-ups and pans. Then, during the credits, it looked like the Xena crew with Raimi and Rapert, Chloe Smith, Joseph LoDuca, etc. so that made sense.
Something I've noticed lately is that horror movies make for great
previews. When I saw the trailer for BOOGEYMAN I was thinking, "This
film is gonna rock!" WRONG! This is another terrible Hollywood scare
flick that couldn't scare a 12 year old. I jumped more at the preview
than the movie. The worst part is the story is so heavy handed that it
steals any fun out of this convoluted mess. Let's remember what were
making here, guys, it ain't no Oscar contender. Too bad the movie
wasn't just a shade worse so it could enter that so-bad-it's good
realm. This one is just bad.
There are a lot of great horror movies out there these days so skip this one!
The movie had so much potential just by the subject matter, but as usual the title was more exciting then the movie. No explanation of the Boogeyman, No real plot to think of...if there was ever a story line, it must be laying on the editing room floor or by now in some landfill. The acting was bad, the story line was bad, the direction was bad, the editing was bad, the writing was bad, the special effects were bad, and the short clip of the children in the house that were suppose to be victims of the Boogeyman could have been left out of the movie. It added nothing to the plot or mystery or even likability of the movie, it's characters, or even the Boogeyman. If someone decides to make a re-make of this movie about the Boogeyman, please call me. The nightmares I've had as a child about the Boogeyman far surpass the "should have been G rated" bad comedy about an evil that has frighten adults and children alike for centuries.
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