Boogeyman (2005)
By: J.R. McNamara on October 7, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Roadshow (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. English (FHI) Subtitles. 85 minutes
The Movie
Director: Stephen T. Kay
Starring: Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Lucy Lawless
Screenplay: Eric Kripke, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
Country: USA
This is a film full of influences. The well-versed horror fan will spot the quick-cut editing of Se7en, the shots that mimic Argento or Raimi and the general feel of the whole J-horror phenomenon, to the point that it almost seems like it is deliberately trying to mix all those things that horror fans like together to make a more delicious parcel. Director Stephen Kay (Get Carter), along with Ghost House producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, have created an original ultra glossy Hollywood horror flick, instead of yet another remake, which comes as somewhat of a relief. The director has imbued this film, using jump-cuts and sudden loud noises, with a constant feel of dread and unease that is prevalent in good modern ghost stories such as The Eye or The Grudge.

Poor 8 year old Timmy (Aaron Murphy) is a scaredy cat. At night, everything in his room scares him: his dressing gown, a mobile of a bird hanging from his roof…everything. One night his Dad (Charles Mesure) comes to his room and opens every door to prove to Timmy that there is nothing hiding there, until his father is dragged into the wardrobe and is never seen again. 15 years later, a grown up but still irrationally fearful Tim (Barry Watson), after a terrifying vision while staying at his girlfriend Jessica's (Tory Mussett) parent's house, learns that his mother (Lucy Lawless) has died. He rushes to his hometown for the funeral, a place he has not returned to since that fateful night and is reunited with childhood friend, Kate (Emily Deschanel). His meeting with a local child Franny (Skye McCole Bartusiak) and his re-entry to his old house opens wounds long since closed and brings about a series of strange occurrences, or is it all in his mind?

If you are looking for a gore-fest you will be disappointed, but if you want good atmosphere and solid acting, you will be pleasantly surprised. Barry Watson (Teaching Mrs Tingle) puts in a great Vincent D'onofrio-styled performance that is really effective. Another point of note is the great flashback sequence device; Tim actually watches the flashback events unfold in front of him. Unfortunately some of the CGI seems to be of a Van Helsing standard, which seems to have become the Hollywood norm, but not really acceptable when you consider other CGI effects like those in Star Wars Episode 3 or Starship Troopers. It proves that sometimes just because you CAN do something, it does not mean you should do it.
A really nice and clear 1.78:1 transfer. The color has been digitally dulled but the picture quality is excellent.
Spectacular Dolby Digital 5.1 that will scare the pants off you.
Extra Features
Crew/ characters/ cast is a 19 minute 30 second documentary with interviews with director Stephen Kay, producer Rob Tapert and cast members Barry Watson, Tory Mussett, Lucy Lawless, Emily Deschanel and Skye McCole Bartusiak. Like all of these sorts of documentaries, it does tend to turn into a self-love festival at times.

There are 6 deleted scenes and one alternate ending, the quality of these suffers as the special effects have not been finished, but there is enough there for you to get the idea of what is going on.

Visual Effects is a montage of scenes shown from scratch with the scene repeated with more of the effects finished off.

Storyboards are a selection of semi animated storyboards.

There is a Theatrical Trailer.

Evolution of the Horror Film (14 minutes 55 seconds) starts off as though it is going to be an interesting comparison of films like Evil Dead to the post millennium J-horror influenced style of film making but ends up being more self-congratulation.
The Verdict
It has been a while since a straight non-violent, non-bloody, non-nudie horror film has made me investigate a creaking sound halfway through. Not up to the lofty heights of movies like the Japanese Ring or Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist, however Boogeyman is very creepy entertainment. It is unfortunately let down by some average quality CGI. This is original popcorn horror at its best.
Movie Score
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