The Boogey Man (1980) Poster

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1/10
Boogers
bkoganbing31 August 2016
John Carradine was in some of the greatest films ever made as a supporting player. But that sonorous speaking voice was forever in demand for various horror flicks and he willingly obliged. Just as soon as my paycheck clears I'll speak anything you want.

In The Boogey Man however Carradine's penchant for scenery chewing when he knew he was in crap was not even utilized in The Boogey Man. Instead he plays a psychiatrist listening to the tales of horror from a woman who has unleashed the spirit of The Boogey Man who when he was flesh and blood was murdered when he was doing the deed with her mother.

This one is not even for John Carradine fans who like to hear his voice. He's dull and the rest of the cast emote on the level of a grade school play.
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5/10
Heavily derivative, this 1980s slasher still packs a gory punch
Leofwine_draca12 December 2015
After the surprise success of Carpenter's HALLOWEEN, about a hundred imitations quickly followed between 1979 and 1982. Some of these, like Friday THE 13TH, even spawned their own imitations. However, one of these slashers took events in a slightly different direction; it still had the same gruesome murders, but this time the killer was trapped inside a mirror. This film was THE BOGEY MAN.

In the opening scenes, the HALLOWEEN influence is clear, with a young boy murdering his mother's lover. The murders are all staged with relish, and most of them are absurd enough to be funny. The acting is substandard (what do you expect from an '80s slasher?) and the music is ripped straight off HALLOWEEN, with the familiar tinkling tune and point of view killer shots. A character is killed with kitchen cutlery in a scene ripped from CARRIE, while a girl speaks in a demonic voice, just like in THE EXORCIST. These are just two of the scenes you'll spot from other films.

It's good to see John Carradine in another role, but like most of his latter day films, he's only in it for a few minutes. It's enough. THE BOGEY MAN enjoys the notorious reputation of having been banned as a 'video nasty' in this enlightened country of ours, and therefore there is a kind of dirty, gritty feel to be had while watching it. It's not in the least bit disturbing as the video cover would have you believe though ("However, some may still consider the content to be unsuitable viewing material, and find certain scenes to be disturbing or offensive. IF IN DOUBT, DO NOT VIEW"). Vipco certainly made their films sound interesting, it's just a shame that the version they released is the cut one. Still, THE BOGEY MAN is a slasher with a slightly more inventive premise than most, and it passes the time quite amiably. Just don't expect it to be another HALLOWEEN when watching...
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Effective
Michael_Elliott12 March 2008
The Boogeyman (1980)

*** (out of 4)

As a child, Willy killed his mother's lover and all of it was reflected in a mirror and witnessed by his sister Lacey. Now, as adults, Lacey (Suzanna Love) begins to struggle so her husband recommend she go see a doctor (John Carradine). The doctor recommends she return to her childhood home and when she does she sees that mirror and breaks it. Soon a possession and murders follow.

Ulli Lommel's THE BOOGEYMAN is a rather effective horror film that I've always felt deserved to have a much better reputation. People have said it borrowed from HALLOWEEN and various possession films and perhaps it did but at the same time it has such a unique and weird atmosphere that you can't help get drawn into its story and the characters. THE BOOGEYMAN certainly deserves to be better remembered as it is quite effective.

The film shows what a talented director can do whenever he doesn't have too much money. The film has a terrific atmosphere that comes from the director's sense of style and especially the camera work. Just check out the sequence when Lacey is looking around the old house and the camera just basically floats around her making it seems as if someone is there waiting for her. The ending is also quite effective with the director using various color tints to build up a strong atmosphere.

The entire film really has a raw and creepy feel to it and all the credit must go to Lommel. The performances are a mixed bag but I think Love, while not the greatest actress, at least manages to keep us caught up in the story. You've also got John Carradine who shows up for a couple scenes, which means he was probably on the set for a day or two at most. The special effects are quite effective and especially the now somewhat notorious scissor death.

THE BOOGEYMAN has probably had its reputation lowered due to a couple really awful sequels, which is too bad because this is a rather effective movie.
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8/10
Broken mirrors and dead bodies
Woodyanders16 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Young girl Lacey witness her brother Willy murder a man through a reflection in the mirror. Twenty years later the lethal evil spirit of the murdered man gets unleashed to wreak all kinds of crazy havoc on both Lacey (a solid and appealing performance by the lovely Suzanna Love) and others.

Director/co-writer Ulli Lommel relates the extremely loopy, yet still engrossing and enjoyable story at a steady pace, offers a strong and vivid evocation of the sleepy and conservative rural community setting, ably crafts a potently brooding creeped-out gloom-doom mood that's rife with dread, builds a good deal of tension, and stages the murder set pieces with grisly gusto. Love holds the film together with her striking beauty and likeable personality, Ron James lends sturdy support as Lacey's concerned husband Jake, Nicholas Love likewise registers well as traumatized mute Willy, and token name John Carradine pops up a few times as a psychiatrist. Moreover, this film even makes a cogent point about how the sins of the past can come back to haunt you in the present and the basic need for closure that in turn adds some depth and poignancy to the loony proceedings. Tim Krog's shivery synthesizer score hits the spine-tingling spot. Nice crisp cinematography by David Sperling and Jochen Breitenstein, too. An odd, but undeniably effective movie.
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5/10
Frightening and terrifying story about possession occasioned by eerie mirror
ma-cortes18 July 2008
This is a fairly suspenseful and horrifying story with simple special effects. It starts when through the reflection in a mirror, a little girl witnesses her brother kills their mother's lover . The weird mirror is possessed by strange spirit. Several years later, one time grown-up, this records still haunt her. She(Suzanne Love, director wife who starred many his films) is assisted by therapist Dr. Warren(John Carradine). Then, the mirror is now broken revealing again its ominous powers. Caught in a series of otherwordly events, she becomes inextricably involved in creepy murders .

This spooky movie packs terror, tight pacing, bone-chilling scenes, tension, grisly killings and numerous images have you on the edge of your seat.It's a very average little horror movie and has some cool death scenes. The film emphasizes the bloody, cruel and disgustful killings. The script stretches plausibility to the breakpoint point for a massacre final. Frightening musical score imitating partially to Mike Oldfield's Tubular bells from 'The exorcist'. It's followed by 'Boogeyman 2' continuing the plot, similar footage and new director; Ulli Lommel acted and co-written this follow-up. Furthermore recent version, very different to original : 'Boogeyman, 2005' by Stephen T. Kay with Barry Watson and Emily Deschanel and 'Boogeyman 2,' by Jeff Betancourt with Rene O'Connor and Tobin Bell.

The film is middling directed by Ulli Lommel, he's a German born actor and director with a long career in both US and Europe and known by his collaboration with Rainer W. Fassbinder and Andy Warhol(who produced him two movies : Blank generation and Cocaine cowboys). In 1988 he changed to Hollywood and directed 'Boogey man', that became in Box office success, grossing millions of dollars worldwide. Later , made 'Olivia, Brainwaves, Devonsville terror' and several movies with little budget, such as 'Black Dahlia and curse of the Zodiac', among them.
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6/10
The Boogeyman reflects well on Lommel.
BA_Harrison7 June 2009
Twenty years after she witnesses her brother stabbing their mother's sadistic lover to death, Lacey returns to her childhood home in an attempt to lay the ghosts of the past to rest. However, whilst looking around the house, the young woman is horrified to see her mother's dead lover reflected in a mirror, and so smashes it with a chair; in doing so, she unwittingly releases the vengeful spirit of the long-dead man, who embarks on a series of grisly murders.

These days, director Ulli Lommel's output is so lousy that he even gets mentioned in the same breath as Uwe Boll during discussions on crap horror films; way back in the early eighties, however, the man once displayed a modicum of talent with The Boogeyman, a supernatural slasher that, whilst not exactly groundbreaking, still managed to deliver enough memorable moments to make it worth a watch. Plus, it even made its way onto the official DPP Video Nasties list, thus forever ensuring itself a place in horror history.

Part Halloween, part The Exorcist, and part something else I can't quite identify, The Boogeyman is a low budget blend of stalk-and-slash style killings and ghostly goings-on that manages to serve up a reasonably creepy ambiance. The clever use of reflections from the shards of mirrored glass to foreshadow the killings, plus an atmospheric synth score, also help to make this one of Lommel's better efforts.

The highlights of the film are definitely the gory death scenes, which are both inventive and gruesome; they include a girl pushing a pair of scissors into her neck (after kindly cutting her t-shirt open to reveal her breasts!), a boy having his neck crushed by a sash window, a pair of lovers pinned together with a carving knife, and a man impaled by a pitchfork. Unfortunately, the confusing and rather rushed ending, in which Lacey is possessed and the spirit is finally destroyed (a tad too easily, in my opinion) when the reconstructed mirror is thrown down a deep well, prevents the film from being a complete success.
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5/10
Um. Wow. So yeah...this movie...
BandSAboutMovies24 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
When Willy and Lacey were kids, they watched their mom and her boyfriend - who wore her stockings on his face - make out. Their mother was so upset, she sent Lacey to her room and tied Willy to his bed. It didn't work, though. Willy would get out and stab the guy to death with a giant knife in front of a mirror. And that's only the first few minutes of this one!

Now we're in the present and Lacey (Suzanna Love, who was married to the director of the film Ulli Lommel and appears in all the sequels) is married with a young son, living with her aunt, uncle and Willy (Nicholas Love, Suzanna's real-life brother)on a farm. Willy's never gotten over killing a man, so he doesn't talk and often steals knives.

Over dinner, Lacey announces that their mother wants to see them one last time before she dies. Willy burns their letter and this starts off a series of dreams where she is tied to a bed and nearly stabbed, which makes her husband send her to a shrink.

And that shrink? Skinny Dracula himself, John Carradine, who shot everything in one day. He tells them that she has face her fears and go back to her childhood home. As they look at the house, we see the dead boyfriend reflected in the mirror he died in front of. Lacey goes crazy and smashes it, which is totally not what you should do. Nor should you take those pieces and try and fix the mirror. Mirrors are cheap. Go to Wal-Mart. Buy a new and uncursed mirror.

The pieces left behind start to glow red and kill everyone in the house after Lacey and Jake leave. Speaking of mirrors, Willy hates them. One of them made him strangle a girl, so he paints them all black.

The shards of glass start doing evil things, like levitate pitchforks, rip off Lacey's shirt and impale young lovers with a screwdriver. I was cool with the shards of glass until then. You've taken it too far, shards of glass! I guess we can blame them for the aunt and uncle dying too, right?

This being 1980, Jake decides to bring a priest in to fix everything. This causes Lacey to get possessed by a mirror shard and attack everyone. She kills the priest, too, but not before he removes the mirror's control over her.

That's when the best solution comes up - let's just throw the mirror in a well. This releases all of the souls, with Lacey, Willy and her son happily exiting a graveyard. Oh no - a piece of the mirror is on her son's shoe!

I was wondering where so many of the plot points of this movie would go and they're often lost as if this were a foreign film. But it isn't! So I did a little digging into the director, Ulli Lommel.

Lommel had one crazy career, starting with appearing in Russ Meyer's Fanny Hill, then acting in Fassbinder's surreal western film Whitey (as well as several other of the director's films). Moving to the U.S. in 1977, Lommel became connected to Andy Warhol, who became involved in his films Cocaine Cowboys and Blank Generation, a movie that starred Richard Hell and was filmed at CBGB.

Seriously - a movie that rips off Halloween, The Amityville Horror and Argento lighting while feeling like more than two movies mashed up into one that also features a girl cut her own throat with scissors, a child get his neck broken and a priest get his face melted? The acting is horrible - but are you here for that? Nope. You want to get freaked out when people's eyes get replaced with a piece of a mirror.
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5/10
The (Boogey-) Man in the Mirror!
Coventry7 November 2006
Ulli Lommel's "The Boogeyman" is a reasonably creepy and atmospheric 80's horror effort, but ultimately lacking since it expects you to believe nonsense about supernaturally possessed mirrors and trapped murderous spirits homing inside them. As a downbeat and gruesome shocker, however, the film is much more efficient than most of its colleagues on the notorious "video-nasty" list. Personally, I didn't really care who or what was responsible for the slaughters, since they were all extremely graphic and slowly built up with detailed tension. By the way, any horror movie that has the courage to feature a cold-blooded child's murder is a winner in my book. The story, as mentioned before, is very inane and actually even a bit too overly pretentious for its own good. Lacey and her mute brother William (well, he's not really a mute, he just decided to stop talking at one point) are living on their relatives' farm ever since Willy killed his mother's crazed lover at young age. Lacey witnessed the murder in a mirror and never really recovered from the trauma. When she returns to her parental house and breaks the mirror, the dead bloke's vengeful spirit is set free and most anxious to go on a wild killing spree. As difficult as it may sound, you should pay as less attention to the illogical plot as possible and fully enjoy the well-crafted gory moments & grim ambiance. The acting's far above average, with also a memorable guest appearance of horror veteran John Carradine as Lacey's not-so-helpful psychiatrist. With a slightly more plausible script, or maybe just a good old-fashioned killer of flesh & blood, "The Boogeyman" could have been a genuine 80's classic. Now it's more like a guilty pleasure.
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6/10
Nightmarish horror of "that night" haunts.
michaelRokeefe20 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Ulli Lommel writes and directs this creepy old-fashion horror flick. A young girl witnesses her brother kill their mother's abusive sadistic boyfriend. Lacey(Suzanna Love)and her brother Willy(Nicholas Love)twenty years later live with relatives on their farm. Willy has never spoken since "that" night. Lacey has married and has her own son, but she is still haunted by the happenings of "that" night. It seems mirrors trigger flashbacks with both siblings. Bringing a mirror from the children's old home to the farmhouse unleashes some strange supernatural activity. Anxiety steadily builds as you would want a horror movie to. Not exactly predictable; and that is on the plus side as well. But most of all I really enjoyed the spooky electronic musical score that brings back memories of THE EXORCIST. Also in the cast: Ron James, Llewelyn Thomas, Bill Rayburn and Gillian Gordon.
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7/10
Mirrors have long memories.
Hey_Sweden25 August 2018
Young Lacey (Natasha Schiano) is forced to watch as her brother Willy (Jay Wright) stabs their mothers' lover to death with a big, sharp kitchen knife. Also witness to the killing is a bedroom mirror. 20 years later, the now-grown-up Lacey (Suzanna Love) and Willy (Nicholas Love, Suzanna's real-life brother) are living with an aunt & uncle on their farm. Willy, although mute, seems to be dealing with this dark past better than her; in desperation, her husband Jake (Ron James) tries to make her face her fears, but he only makes things worse. Now, Lacey is afraid that the lovers' vengeful spirit has been released from the mirror and is out for blood.

Overall, the script (by producer & director Ulli Lommel, Suzanna Love (his real-life wife at the time), and David Herschel is pretty slight, and sloppy. But Lommel, who had a background in art films, still creates a funky and amusing supernatural slasher that plays like a mash-up of "The Exorcist" and "Halloween". (Not for nothing is the fact that the farmhouse is very "Amityville"-esque.) The pacing is actually pretty good, and the film is over before the viewer knows it. Once the story really kicks into gear, "The Boogey Man" is quite fun, and colourful, with some very enjoyable splatter effects (and a sense of humour). Eventually, it can't help but get rather cheesy, but the finale is a genuine hoot regardless.

The gorgeous Suzanna acts her little heart out in the lead. The supporting cast is variable; most of these no-names are obvious amateurs. Token "name" cast member John Carradine, one of those old-time veterans who said "yes" to a lot of scripts in order to keep earning a living, is kind of wasted as a psychiatrist. Nicholas L. does an okay job as the unsmiling sibling.

One point of interest is the sometimes offbeat and sometimes catchy electronic soundtrack composed by Tim Krog. It's very reminiscent, at times, of the legendary "Tubular Bells".

Lightly amusing horror fare, with some entertaining special effects. It was followed three years later by "Boogeyman II".

Seven out of 10.
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5/10
Dull supernatural horror film.
poolandrews18 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Somewhere in Virginia. A man (Howard Grant) and his lover (Gillian Gordon) are getting down to some kinky foreplay. She notices that her two children William (Jay Wright) and Lacey (Natasha Schiano) are spying on them through a window. The man ties William to his bed and gags him. Later on that night Lacey goes downstairs into the kitchen and picks up a large knife, she cuts the ropes around William's wrists and sets him free. He then sneaks into his mother's room and stabs her lover to death. 20 years later. William (Nicholas Love) and Lacey (Suzanna Love) now live on a farm with their Aunt (Felicite Morgan) and Uncle (Bill Rayburn). William keeps a drawer in his bedroom full of knives, which is never explained, and he is now a mute and hasn't spoken since the that night 20 years ago. Lacey is married to Jake (Ron James) and they have a young boy named Kevin (Raymond Boyden). Lacey receives a letter from her mother that requests they meet each other for one final time before she dies. Lacey has never quite gotten over the trauma of the opening sequence and this letter has brought it all back. She wakes up screaming after a nightmare. Jake decides to take her to see Dr. Warren (John Carradine). He suggests he take her to the house so she can see and remember it for what it is now, not how it was then. Using the excuse that they are looking to buy the property they gain excess to the house. While in one of the bedrooms Lacey looks into a mirror and sees her mother's boyfriend walking toward her. She smashes the mirror. Jake collects all the broken glass in a paper bag and promises to replace it. Breaking the mirror has let the spirit of the evil contained within to escape. Wherever there is a piece of glass from the mirror people begin to die. Directed by Ulli Lommel this is a rather dull, slow and uninteresting film. Nothing happens for long stretches, it just becomes tedious to sit through. Production values are average at best, photography, effects, music, acting and the editing are all flat and unimaginative. Not much blood, gore or nudity which is all we really want to see in a film like this, however this is probably the only slasher film has a death by bathroom cabinet door! There are much better slasher films out there, the Burning (1981), my Bloody Valentine (1981), Hell Night (1981), the Prowler (1981) and Intruder (1988) are all better than this limp boring effort, and prove you shouldn't be wasting your time with this. Very little to recommend here, don't bother.
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6/10
When you break a mirror, you free everything it has seen.
lastliberal29 October 2008
This video nastie was initially banned in Britain, but released in 2000 with no cuts. Not hard to imagine, as there is really not a lot of gore; just old fashioned Halloween-type slasher action.

Lacey and Willy had the misfortune to have one of those parents that Child Services is always investigating. In a drunken stupor, mom (Gillian Gordon) allows her boyfriend (Howard Grant) to tie Willy up so he won't be peeking when they are doing the nastie. Lacey frees him and he takes his revenge on the boyfriend.

We jump 20 years into the future when Willy is not talking and Lacey is disturbed by recollections. Her husband takes her to a psychiatrist (John Carradine) and eventually to the house where they lived. It is here that a mirror is broken and the boogeyman is released.

The boogeyman manages to get to a party at a lake for his fourth and fifth kill. This scene featured the most deadly kiss I have ever seen in all the horror movies I have watched. It is unique.

Everything culminates in a Exorcist-type nightmare where a priest manages to get control and allow them to consign the mirror, and presumably the boogeyman, to hell.

But you know that's not going to happen.

If you like slasher flicks and, especially if you are a Halloween fan, this is for you.
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4/10
There was Promise, but no Dice
view_and_review29 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
There was a lot of promise here, especially how the movie began.

It starts with a six or seven-year-old Willy killing his mother's boyfriend who'd just tied him to the bed. He was assisted by his sister Lacey as she was the one who got the knife to cut Willy loose from the bed.

Fast forward 20 years and Willy and Lacey are adults. Willy doesn't talk at all and is obviously socially maladapted. Clearly, they were trying to set up Willy as being a psychopathic killer. That was a bit of misdirection because the Boogeyman was the trapped soul of the murdered boyfriend? I'm phrasing it as a question because I'm not 100% sure that's what was going on.

What was clear was that the malevolent spirit was connected to the mirror that was in the siblings' old house. That's not all that absurd. What was absurd was that Lacey's husband would bring the mirror back from the old house as though it was a method of helping Lacey get over her fear of the dead boyfriend.

Everything that happened was sort of choppy and rushed. Nothing was explained well if it was explained at all. There was good material there--material that were it in the right hands it could've been something better. This was a nice try, but no dice.
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3/10
A Cross Between "Halloween" and "The Amityville Horror"
Uriah439 February 2016
After witnessing her older brother "Jake" (Ron James) being tied up and gagged by his mother's lover, a young 3-year old girl by the name of "Lacey" (Suzanna Love) gets a knife and cuts him loose. The boy then goes into his mother's bedroom and stabs the man to death with that same knife while his sister watches everything through a side mirror on the wall. Twenty years later neither Jake nor Lacey have recovered mentally or emotionally. It's at this time that a letter from their mother-who they haven't heard from in twenty years-triggers an incident which causes the dead man's ghost to appear and start killing everybody he comes into contact with. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie I will just say that it had an interesting premise. Likewise, borrowing heavily from recent movies like "Halloween" and "The Amityville Horror" this movie definitely came out at a propitious time. Unfortunately, some of the special effects were so bad they were laughable and this seriously affected the film as a whole. As a result I have rated the film accordingly. Below average.
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"Timmy, Where Are My Barber Scissors?!"...
azathothpwiggins2 October 2020
After a flashback opening, complete with child abuse and brutal murder (in blatant HALLOWEEN fashion), THE BOOGEY MAN shifts to 20 years later. Willy (Nicholas Love) and his sister, Lacey (Suzanna Love) are now adults. Willy is unable to speak, but Lacey seems just fine. Having left their ordeal behind them, they live a seemingly idyllic life on their uncle's farm.

However, Lacey suffers from nightmares, causing her husband to take her back to her childhood home to face her fears. This isn't a good idea. A supernatural event takes place involving an old mirror. The creep factor skyrockets from this point, as a great eeevil is unleashed to cause death and destruction! A priest is called in, and the paranormal $h!t hits the fan!

Made almost entirely of grade-A cheeeze-corn, TBM is still very enjoyable, in spite of sub-par acting, dreadful dialogue, and a laughable plot. Several "scary" scenes evoke more giggles than chills. To be fair, it does have a semi-macabre atmosphere, and the story is original.

Co-stars John Carradine in an extended cameo role as Dr. What's-his-name...
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2/10
mirror, mirror on the wall
movieman_kev10 April 2008
Ulli Lommel directed this rancid little horror film about a couple of kids who kill their neglectful mother's abusive boyfriend. Years later the now grown kids, the boy now a mute man, the girl now a somewhat hot woman, return to their childhood house to find that the bedroom mirror has become possessed by the evil that it witnessed all those years ago. Poor poor Ulli, he's to horror films as Uwe Boll is to video game adaptations and while this film is miles above the utter drivel he'd later churn out, that's a sad testament to how awful he's gotten at writing rather than a praise of this one. As apart from one bizarre yet amusing death sequence, this movie is simply unwatchable.

My Grade: D-

Where I saw it: Fearnet on Demand
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5/10
You cannot hide from the Boogey Man! An almost good horror film...
Aaron137528 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I saw part of this film as a child and it scared me to the point I was unable to finish the film. Now, I have witnessed the entire film and I can see why it did scare me as a child as there are some disturbing things going on and the invisible killer is a bit creepy. That being said, it is one of those horror films that is almost good, but fails due to different reasons. It looks rather cheap when viewed now and that is rather insane as the film's budget was 300,000. Where was this money spent? John Carradine's salary? Then there are just long lingering shots of things most likely to pad out the film. Do not see any reason for this as there were plenty of people to kill and the killer could do so many different things to kill.

The story starts out showing a couple making out on a couch, for some reason the woman really gets a kick out of putting a stocking over the man's head. She realizes the children are watching and the man proceeds to tie the young boy to his bed an beat him. The sister frees the boy who then proceeds to stab the mom's boyfriend. 20 years pass and the girl is married and has a son while the brother has not spoken a word since that night. Well, thanks to a letter the mom sends the daughter explaining that she wishes to see her and her brother, the daughter starts having issues and her husband thinks that the best thing for her is to visit her mother and her old house. A psychiatrist agrees about the house and the two of them visit it and shockingly in a mirror within the house the girl sees her mom's old boyfriend. She crashes the mirror and this frees the killer to murder, starting with the family currently living within the house!

It has some moments as there are some creative and disturbing kills, but there is just too much wrong with it for me to consider this thing good. The only explanation we get for the killer able to to what he does is that once a mirror is shattered the things it has seen escapes. Not good enough, the guy was total scum, why is he gifted the ability to seek revenge from beyond the grave? Why does he kill nearly everyone, but makes such lousy attempts at killing the boy and girl he would have the most hatred for? Then there are scenes that make no sense, like the one where the husband says he believes his wife and when she says it is her mother's lover he immediately starts saying that is impossible. Then there is a very random scene where the husband goes back to the psychiatrist to tell the man he thinks what is going on is real and promptly leaves...no point in that scene at all other than to have more John Carradine in the film.

So, while it does border on being a really good and disturbing horror it ultimately fails. Too many scenes where nothing is going on and one too many scenes that add nothing. I mentioned the extra psychiatrist scene and there is another involving the brother and another girl that added nothing to the plot. Two sequels would be made, but I have never seen them; however, from the score here, they are both significantly worse than this one and both are made up of mainly footage of this film. That means I have no urge to track them down and view them. This one is worth a watch as it could have been a very good horror, just did not get over the hump.
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5/10
Decent, but overall lacking Video Nasty slasher
The_Void24 October 2006
Well, slashers aren't my favourite type of film at the best of times - and from seeing most of the Video Nasty list, I've found that most films on it are rubbish; so as you can imagine, I didn't exactly have high hopes going in to this film. To my surprise, The Bogey Man actually wasn't as bad as thought it would be - but that's not to say it's good! I suppose some respect has to go to the film for the fact that it doesn't simply wallow in the genre staples; as the supernatural elements of the plot give it something of a sense of originality, and the themes of the plot make the film an interesting precursor to the 'classic' Nightmare on Elm Street. The story focuses on Lacey; a woman who, as a child, witnessed her brother murdering her mother's boyfriend through a reflection in a mirror. Fast forward a few years and this event is still haunting our heroine, so she goes to the house where it happened; only to end up breaking the mirror. And it gets worse too, as it turns out that when you break a mirror - you free everything it sees, and soon the evil spirit is back!

The Video Nasty list is mostly made up of films that don't deserve to be there; from The Driller Killer (banned for its artwork), to The Funhouse (banned because of a mix-up with titles); it has to be said that the censors didn't really know what they were doing. The Bogey Man doesn't feature much in the way of gore; and even the 'worst' scenes in the film really don't warrant it being taken out of circulation. The film annoyed me also because most of it is build up; its half way through before we even start to see how the plot is going to develop, and things never get too interesting at any point. The acting is typically terrible, with John Carradine being the only name on the cast list; and I'm pretty sure this is a film that the cult icon would like to forget. There are a number of slashers on the Video Nasty list, and this isn't the worst (that would be Don't Go in the Woods), but there's very little to recommend this film for, and other Video Nasty slashers such as Unhinged and Bay of Blood are far better examples of the genre. Overall, The Bogey Man is OK for a single viewing; but seasoned horror veterans are likely to find it rather lacking.
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9/10
Excellent shocker!
HumanoidOfFlesh10 January 2002
A concentrated evil power coming by an evil mirror wreaks havoc with the inhabitants of a small American farming community."The Boogeyman" directed by Ulli Lommel("The Devonsville Terror")isn't just a generic slasher film.It borrows some elements from "Halloween"(1978)and "The Exorcist"(1973),but it's very creepy!There are some gruesome death scenes,the film includes also mirror symbolism,childhood trauma etc.This is pure horror without any humor,so check it out!Recommended!
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5/10
Silly supernatural slasher that made the video nasty list
Red-Barracuda2 November 2015
The Boogeyman was one of many films which made the infamous video nasty list back in early 80's Britain. These were movies, available on the then new home video format, which were considered so obscene that they were thought to be a danger to society and subsequently banned by the British authorities. It has to be said, though, that this is one of the ones where it is very difficult understanding how it could have disturbed anyone to this extent. The fact it made this list merely indicates the insane lack of logic that went into the compilation of this often arbitrary list; whatever the case, its infamy as a video nasty is certainly one of the chief reasons people continue to seek it out today.

It starts out with a prologue set twenty years in the past, where a couple of little kids kill their mother's abusive boyfriend. Fast forward to the present day and the trauma of this event still resonates, with the boy now a mute and the girl tormented by nightmares. It turns out that a mirror that literally reflected the earlier murder is now host to the malignant spirit of the evil lover and one thing leads to another and this mirror is smashed, unleashing the evil being who then proceeds to go on a killing spree.

The influence of the earlier film Halloween (1978) is pretty evident in this one, with its opening prologue set 20 years in the past where a child murders an adult, its prominent synth score and even the title references the name that Michael Myers was often referred to in that earlier movie. It also follows a slasher template with a number of characters bumped off in a different gory manner. Yet the film is far from a pure rip-off of that movie in that it combines all this with an occult supernatural horror thing. The boogeyman of the title is never seen after all and is an invisible being, while the film ends with scenes very much of the type seen in many religious themed horror movies that were somewhat popular in the 70's especially. On the whole, while this is pretty ropey stuff a lot of the time, it does have a certain low budget charm and entertainment value about it. Its director Ulli Lommel obviously considered this to be one of his more successful outings and consequently made a couple of sequels both of with are typified by mainly recycling material found in this film over and over again; both of these films are truly terrible and should really be avoided at all costs. The original, while no classic, is the only one worth bothering with.
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2/10
Not A Good Film - Rather Stupid
Rainey-Dawn18 May 2016
Sadly I do recall seeing this film in the 1980s after *trying* to re-watch recently. I forgot all about see this film back then, now I recall it. The only reason I *tried* watching it was for John Carradine - I like him. The film is terrible, stupid but Carradine is good as always.

Nothing to see here but some cheap, cheesy murders - if you like that sort of thing thing this film might be up your alley! I'm not into that so this film did nothing for me.

Why give this film 2 stars? Number one reason: John Carradine, number two reason it held my interest a little bit in the beginning but after the first half hour I really lost all interest - it started out fine and kept going down hill from there. The idea behind the film could be fine but needed some major work on the script to make this mess work well.

2/10
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5/10
surprisingly it didn't suck as much as it should have,
disdressed1212 August 2009
surprising because Ulli Lommel was involved in writing directing and producing this thing.i didn't realise Lommel was behind it until i got it home.by then figured what the hey.i mean how bad could it be,right.after all,i managed to see at least some of Lommel's other travesties,B.T.K and Black Dalia.those were putrid.The Boogeyman however,is not.it has interesting story,some decent performances,and some unusual music/sound effects.it is readily apparent a low budget production,but i could watch it all,without having to pause to vomit,so that's something.no classic by any means,but still...for me The Boogeyman is a 5/10
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7/10
Entertainingly stylish low-budget horror.
lost-in-limbo7 August 2020
Other than "THE DEVONSVILLE TERROR" (which I didn't particularly care for). I'm fairly new to Ulli Lommel's work, but I gotta say the shoe-string budgeted "THE BOOGEYMAN" was rather a nice surprise. In spite of its stilted nature (especially the scenes involving John Carradine's psychobabble), there's something rather interesting, creative, visually enticing and uncanny around its process of a supernatural slasher. Maybe even a pioneer for the sub-genre, as what felt like a thematic blueprint, still with some slasher influences, eventually goes down its own path. How the plot goes about it early, I thought it was going to be more traditional, where we get a psychological based psychopathic breakdown (the brother), and one's attempt (the sister) to overcome their demons, but once the mirror (the evil entity's source of power) comes into the picture. There begins the supernatural interference, and it doesn't hold back.

An invisible force, POV shots, heavy breathing, floating objects, glowing neon special effects and a growing death toll, as one by one people's fates end in a rather horrific, and jolting demise. These victims just seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's nothing out of the ordinary, can come across as crude, and at this point the story does begin to get sloppy in the details, yet it manages to pack a sting. Lommel's low-scale aesthetics do construct some stylish usage from its leering camerawork, moody lighting, stately rural backdrop (with a farmhouse resembling "AMITYVILLE HORROR") and minimal set-pieces. But the real talking point is that screwy electronic music score. It perfectly adds to the strange, traumatic vibe of the escalating insanity of the situations. Something that once it starts definitely won't leave your head. The acting is quite sound, and Suzanna Love shows she has quite a set of lungs on her.
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Pretentious and boring.
gridoon8 September 1999
Artsy (or, more accurately, pseudo-artsy) shocker is ruined by pretentious direction and a completely illogical script. Mirrors, as items, have been underused in thrillers, and they contain many interesting possibilities, but this boring and pretentious film definitely isn't the one where you can find them.
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7/10
Too many Halloween like aspirations at times, but genuinely creepy, and well made.
callanvass22 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
(Credit IMDb) 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.

Horror fans are often mixed on this movie. They either like it, dislike it or even go as far as to hate it. It moves slowly at times but like the movie it was so obviously influenced by, Halloween it builds up the suspense terrifically, even adding in some great death scenes in the process. The characters are better developed then one could expect for an Italian horror movie, nothing memorable but good enough to keep me caring. I liked the background story of the children too, especially the trauma in Willy's case. It also adds some Exorcist like elements too with the Priest and supernatural happenings. The musical score is chilling, and adds to the suspense. I enjoyed myself, and find it to be an underrated 80's Horror gem. Great effort by Ulli Lommel

Performances Suzanna Love makes for an effective lead, at least by Italian acting standards anyway. John Carradine is a favorite of mine, but to say his performance is good here, would be lying. He gets a paycheck, but is wooden in doing so, entirely unconvincing. Ron James is wooden in his role as well. Nicholas Love was creepy as the Brother. Llewelyn Thomas is creepy as the Priest, and I'll always remember being creeped out by his shot with blood dripping down his forehead on the movie cover.

Bottom line it's not perfect, but it's a prime example of why I love Italian Horror, suspenseful, well made, and even terrifying at times. You could do a lot worse then this part slasher, part possession film. Recommended if you can find it, sadly it's been banned as a Video Nasty in some areas. One thing's for sure, I won't look at Mirror's the same way again after Mirrors, and now this movie.

7/10
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