Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Movie Review: Boogeyman

 Tim is a troubled young man.

 He has spent his life in-and-out of asylums and homes.  His mother is in an asylum, and his father disappeared under mysterious circumstances.  Tim believes that his father was killed by the boogeyman, a childhood monster that lives under beds and in closets.  Years of therapy have provided Tim of semblance of normalcy; he sleeps on a mattress on his floor and has no closets in his home.  A premonition of his mother telling him that he needs to return to the family home prompts him to check on her, only to discover that she has died.  He visit the ward where she was located and where he grew up, only to also discover that the children there are being threatened by the boogeyman.  He returns to his home to determine if the boogeyman is real or just a fantasy... and if real to try to stop him.
The bath is not a safe place in any horror film.

 Boogeyman has some strengths.  It has a high production value, creating just the right mood and tension throughout the film.  There is also enough misdirection in the plot to get the audience thinking that Tim or another character might be the killer, and that there is no boogeyman.  The film relies mainly on visual and audio "stings" for its scares, but they are well done and there are not too many of them.

 The film has two main weaknesses.  The first is the creature itself.  It is apparent that a lot of money went into the creature's CGI presentation, but in my opinion it is poorly designed.  It just looks like a bald, gray, old man in tattered clothes made of smoke... not very impressive and kind of a let-down.  The film might have been helped if the boogeyman was never fully revealed. 

You'll wish this guy would die.
 The second weakness is the PG-13 constraints.  The PG-13 rating keeps the blood and gore to a bare minimum, which takes away from the film.  It also means that while we get to see a girl drowned in a tub, there is no nudity.  This just reminds the audience that they are watching a film and takes them out of the story instead of drawing them in.
 The only other issue I had with the film is Tim's character.  I had trouble empathizing with him.  Tim just kind of comes off as a loser who is not only mired in his victimhood, but drags other people down with him.  If Tim had a little bit of a spine, perhaps with a brain attached, the film would have been better for me.


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