“The Boogeyman” is a movie that combines the fear of monsters with the effective use of jump scares. It is based on a Stephen King short story and follows the story of Sadie Harper, played by Sophie Thatcher, as she navigates her mother’s death and a terrifying creature lurking in the dark.
Sadie’s father, Will, played by Chris Messina, is a therapist but is too consumed by his own grief to provide comfort for Sadie and her younger sister, Sawyer. When a man named Lester Billings shows up and tells them about the cryptic deaths of his children, the family’s lives take a dark turn. Lester disappears, seemingly committing suicide, and Sadie becomes convinced that a creature is after her family.
The film explores the theme of unresolved trauma and the impact of loss on individuals. It delves into the fear of the dark and the psychological toll it takes on Sawyer. However, the movie falls into the trap of relying on dead parents as a plot-driving element, which has become a cliché in horror cinema. This trend cheapens the setup and often fails to effectively merge the emotional weight with the thrills that should accompany it.
While “The Boogeyman” effectively builds tension and provides scares, it lacks originality. It borrows from other films like “A Quiet Place” and relies on jump scares to create fear. The filmmakers do a good job of tapping into universal fears and creating an atmosphere of vulnerability, but they don’t offer much that is new or groundbreaking in the horror genre.
The performances in the movie are strong, with Sophie Thatcher delivering a standout performance as Sadie. She portrays a character torn between grief and determination, seeking answers and trying to protect her family. Chris Messina and Vivien Lyra Blair also deliver solid performances as Sadie’s father and sister.
Director Rob Savage effectively creates suspense and maintains intensity throughout the film. The cinematography and use of lighting add to the eerie atmosphere, with morning sunlight even being used to create a sense of creepiness. However, the film falls short in terms of plot and logic. The focus on exposition about the Boogeyman’s origins detracts from the development of the Harper family and their interactions.
Overall, “The Boogeyman” is an entertaining horror film that delivers scares and keeps the audience engaged. It effectively explores themes of grief and fear, but it lacks originality and fails to leave a lasting impact. While it may appeal to teenagers and fans of the genre, it doesn’t offer much beyond the typical horror movie experience.