The Reel Review
Two sisters distraught over the sudden death of their mother face a new nightmare after a suicidal patient of their psychologist father unleashes a supernatural entity upon them, in this horror/thriller based on Stephen King’s 1973 short story.
Similar to 2022’s Smile, here again a suicidal patient unleashes a supernatural force, only this time it is on the psychologist’s daughters – a child-hunting boogeyman. The film’s psychological element, about the damaging effects of unresolved emotional trauma, is treated as little more than an afterthought. This is a film with lots of eyes peering in the shadows.
As the two young sisters, Sophie Thatcher (Yellowjackets) and Vivien Lyra Blair are at least compelling enough to make you care about their characters, despite a disappointingly phoned-in story from a trio that includes the two writers of A Quiet Place that feels as dated and corny as its 50-year-old source material. The only actual terror in the predictably spooky, dimly-lit house is a couple of jump scares that only briefly distract from what is a very unremarkable, dull and even increasingly silly supernatural horror.
• Initially The Boogeyman was slated for release straight to the Hulu streaming platform, but 20th Century Studios says strong test screenings prompted a theatrical release.
• Some scenes of The Boogeyman were reportedly so intense during initial test screenings that they needed to be changed, with pauses added so that screaming viewers wouldn’t miss subsequent dialogue.
• The Boogeyman was filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana.