BOOGEYMAN. 2005. DIRECTED BY STEPHEN T. KAY. STARRING BARRY WATSON, EMILY DESCHANEL AND LUCY LAWLESS. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This could have been a good supernatural horror film. After all, its central theme is the Boogeyman, the monster that lives in everyone’s closet and that terrorises the shite out of you when you’re an unsuspecting nipper. Remember when you were a kid asking your parents to look in the wardrobe and under the bed to check that they were Boogeyman-free zones…? See, we’ve all done it. A film based around this premise should work, shouldn’t it? For some reason, though, this movie, while apparently a box-office success, is a bit of a flop in the fear stakes.
Barry Watson of SEVENTH HEAVEN fame plays Tim Jensen, a handsome young all-American male who witnessed the unthinkable when he was a wee rugrat. He saw the Boogeyman violently take his father and disappear with him into Tim’s bedroom closet. Well, I think we’ll all agree that that’s enough to mess anybody up, a thing like that. Just imagine being a kid and seeing that…!
Needless to say, the grown-up Tim isn’t a big fan of closets. In fact, he does his best to make sure that any space he occupies is closet-free. Now he has a pretty girlfriend called Jessica and he’s doing his best to just live his life. He thinks he’s making a pretty good fist of it too until his mother, played by Lucy Lawless, dies suddenly and Tim has to return to the family home where, amazingly, his mom continued to reside until her death.
Tim’s psychiatrist- well, naturally he has a psychiatrist!- tells him that it might be a good idea if he goes back home and spends the night in the house where the awful thing happened to him in his childhood. Personally, I think the shrink’s a tad misguided in her judgement here, but she means well. She probably thinks he’ll get to lay a few ghosts or something.
Well, there are ghosts a-plenty when Tim apprehensively makes his return to the terrifically haunted-looking house where he encountered the Boogeyman in his youth. He meets the ghost of a young girl taken years ago by the Boogeyman and then he finds himself surrounded in his dark spooky house by the ghosts of literally dozens of murdered child victims of the aforementioned Boogeyman.
In his house, Tim sees his Uncle Mike taken by the Boogeyman who, by the way, does exist and is not merely something Tim cooked up in his own troubled brain to explain the absence of his father from his life for all those years. His girlfriend Jessica is pulled into the bath in a motel by the seemingly omnipresent Boogeyman, but she’s quite annoying so I didn’t really shed any tears over her demise.
Tim then has to battle to save himself and his childhood friend Kate, played by Emily Deschanel, from the… Well, you know by now. The end is disappointing in the extreme. The actual Boogeyman, who when he finally appears takes the form of all the toys that used to scare Tim when he was a kid, is disappointing in the extreme. He’s not scary in the slightest and the ending even seems a bit lame and silly, if you’re asking me to be absolutely honest about it. It’s probably the least scary ending of any horror film I’ve ever seen.
Sigh. So much could have been done with this film that wasn’t done. I mean, the concept is sound enough so there’d definitely be some potential there but sadly, this potential is never fully realised. The ending is left open for a possible sequel but, if they haven’t already done one by now, then I wouldn’t bother. Not unless they’re actually going to get it right this time.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: