The Boogeyman is bogus, man
I had high hopes for THE BOOGEYMAN. After all, when it comes to horror, it’s hard to resist a pedigree which boasts “From The Mind Of Stephen King” even if that doesn’t quite carry the same hallmark of quality cinematically that it carries in publishing, but the trailer was rock solid and I was all set for a creepy creature feature.
The Harper children, Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair) are still struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of their mother in a car crash and their therapist father Will is coping as best he can. When Lester Billings (David Dastmalchian) visits Wills office to explain his three children were killed by an evil entity that latched onto his family, Will’s first instinct is to call the police but when he leaves to do so, Lester slips out and commits suicide by hanging himself.
So far so typical Stephen King set-up, and David Dastmalchian does phenomenal work in his all-too-brief screen time, giving the whole film the needed touch of unseen malevolence. Likewise, Vivien Lyra Blair and Sophie Thatcher turn in good performances, propping up the plot which, a few visual flourishes aside, quickly starts to feel stale and, if truth be told, a little muddled.
It’s never quite clear if The Boogeyman is a primal force of nature or a thinking, calculating, intelligent predator. If it’s the latter, it sure does toy with our main cast for a very long time before attempting anything like a kill. Then again, intelligence isn’t exactly abundant on their other side of this predator/ prey equation. Even when they find the obligatory exposition dump character who explicitly tells our heroes (and us, the audience) that the creature relies on darkness to survive, not a single character ever thinks to turn on a light or carry a torch with them while hunting for the creature. Oh for a horror movie where the characters behave in a credible manner.
The Boogeyman itself is actually kind of cool when we do finally get to see it, but by then we’ve spent far too much time with unlikeable side characters and not nearly enough time with or encountering the creature and it all builds up to a finale that’s too contrived and sentimental to satisfy.