|Rating:RATED PG-13 for spookiness, bloodiness, and creakiness; plus lots of use of keys as phallic symbols.
Starring: Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel
Directed By: Stephen T. Kay
There’s nothing more human than a fear of the irrational. At least, that’s what I hope is true, considering the myriad of stories my parents could tell about my childhood neuroses. But really, when we were little, we all knew there was something in that closet. I mean, there had to be. Never did we mind the idiotic notion that closets only have one door, and once we’ve checked them and gotten into bed without turning our back to them there’s absolutely no rational way for something to have gotten in there. Still…it was sooooo there.
And that’s where Boogeyman, the latest effort from the producing team of Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert (who need no introductions), picks up. The film drops us into the story of Tim, a young boy who has that same fear…and apparently good reason to, after seeing his Michael Douglas look-alike father sucked into the closet multiple times by a force not fit for man nor beast.
Tim’s now in his early 20’s, and is off being a successful something or other with a rich young girlfriend. None of that matters to him at most times, because he spends a good majority of his time staring randomly at closets with a mentally-challenged look on his face. To make matters worse, the death of his mother brings him home, where a seemingly wise children’s psychiatrist tells him he should spend a night in the house to, y’know, make things all better.
Yeah…like that’s gonna happen. Tim goes, and things get weird. But Tim does the right thing, and it’s something few horror characters have ever done. He realizes things are getting weird…and gets the hell out of town. I can’t tell you how happy I was when he did that. Of course, it didn’t matter too much, but that’s a different story.
I think my last anecdote sums up Boogeyman quite nicely. As a horror film, it isn’t afraid to do things others haven’t done before, but it seems to revert back to the solutions and inner workings of previous films at times too. There’re creepy noises, visuals, and shadows that will seem all too familiar to the hardcore horror fan. We’ve got the ominous little girl, we’ve got the shadowy figure, we’ve got the creepy stairwell, we’ve got the room whose walls are covered in a madman’s ravings, and we’ve got many more horror hits. But this movie isn’t afraid to take its own liberties, to shake things up a little, and to at least try and seem like its own film.
It may just be a Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween lovechild, but Boogeyman does manage in many ways to seem like something a horror fan hasn’t seen before and to present itself in a manner that is, at the least, a good distraction. From the imposing introduction to the psychologist approved finale (which does go a little too far over-the-top, sadly), Boogeyman is a diversion that should at least keep horror fans or casual viewers somewhat involved in its puzzle.