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  • Writer's pictureMatthieu Côté

The Boogeyman REVIEW: A New Nightmare is Born

The legend of the "Boogeyman" is not a recent phenomenon and has taken various forms in different cultures throughout the centuries. In Quebec, it is better known as the "Bonhomme Sept Heures" (Seven O'Clock Man). Stephen King breathed new life into the legend in 1973 with his literary short story "The Boogeyman," which sends shivers down your spine. With the recent wave of Stephen King adaptations, it was not surprising to see Hollywood producers tackle this story for a film adaptation. Director Rob Savage (Host, Dashcam) took up the challenge, and his experience with horror films paid off as he gives birth to a horrifying nightmare for a new generation.

Synopsis: "The Harper family is recovering from a recent tragedy when an unexpected visitor turns their grieving process upside down by bringing a supernatural entity with them...The Boogeyman."

Right from the opening sequence Rob Savage is here to make a statement: this is going to be a scary movie. The Boogeyman is an utterly terrifying nightmare crafted by Rob Savage and elevated by all the performances from Sophie Thatcher to Vivien Lyra Blair. A great horror film needs solid foundations and this movie has a powerful family story at its core that solidifies the material.

The concept of the Boogeyman allows them to play with lightning and shadows in a creative way and it doesn't disappoint on that level. Either it's the use of colors or darkness it's always used to great results and they came up with some genuinely terrifying moments. It's very likely that you won't be looking under your bed or in your closet at night the same way after seeing this movie. Even though they can't avoid some clichés and horror tropes that might have some general movie-goer screaming at the screen, it's all done in the service of horror and scaring the shit out of the audience... which they do. A lot.

There's a few jump scares but it doesn't rely too much on them to create tension or bring conclusion to a set piece. One of the biggest challenge was to extend the short story into a full-feature length and the writers Beck/Woods (who I gave them shit about for 65) did a good job fleshing out the characters but also honoring the original short story. Without revealing too much about the movie, I'm pretty sure most fans of the short story will be pleased by the final result. They understood the essence and the themes of the story which is why the movie is not just scary, but also emotionally well-rounded. However, it's the directing and the acting that steals the show here. Vivien Lyra Blair who played Princess Leia in Kenobi recently was fantastic.

Without revealing any details about "The Boogeyman," there is also excellent sound design throughout the film that adds a whole other dimension to the legend. It's a movie that must be seen during its opening weekend, with a large crowd. "The Boogeyman" doesn't reinvent the wheel, but Rob Savage's vision behind the camera and the talent on screen are enough to breathe new life into Stephen King's story. Don't forget to check your closet after watching the film...

Initial Score: 8/10

The Boogeyman opens in cinemas on June 2nd.

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