Boogeyman (2005) Film Review 1/5

Sam Raimi, I know you read our website. We’re tight with Mike Kallio, who had Bruce Campbell produce one of his movies, so I’m damn sure you’ll read this eventually. This isn’t so much a review as it is an open letter to you personally. Before I get into the bad stuff, I’m going to get to the good stuff. This little picture you produced has an interesting angle on the traditional creepy monster story. Tim (Barry Watson) is not a bad actor. The director probably has potential if he’d stop taking cues from Uwe Boll with the flying, spinning camera shots and the pointless, inter-cut scenes of people screaming designed solely to startle the viewer.

The cinematography is excellent, by and large, and they use a lot of very cool camera angles no doubt taught at the Sam Raimi Academy of Odd Camera Positioning and Crane-Shot-Fu. The transitions between real-world and flashback-land are absolutely seamless and really flawless, and most of the time, they provide the most effective startles in the film that aren’t precipitated by a loudly-swelling musical score or incredibly loud Foley work. In other words, they provide the real scares not the cheap scares.

The final reel is an excellent brainfuck, too, and it’s probably what redeems the film for me. I really enjoyed the fact that, for once, it wasn’t just some crazy fucker killing people. An actual supernatural monster was a really refreshing change of pace, and I applaud the writers for not being cheap. However, I scold the filmmaker for being cheap and, instead of giving us a good looking practical Boogeyman, they gave us a cheap, bullshit CGI Boogeyman. Could’ve been so much cooler.

Now that you’ve heard the good things, it’s time for the bad things.

While the story is good, the script itself isn’t quite so good. Lots of people do a lot of stupid things, even by horror-movie standards, and some of the dialogue is strained to the point of unbelievability. There are also way too many clichés being used, even for a horror film, which is a genre Jade describes as nothing but overused plot devices. Little creepy kid, local boy returns to confront his demons, old friend Kate (Emily Deschanel) becomes love interest; the only thing not used was ‘the cuddly animal sidekick that saves the day’. I mean, the little girl Frannie (Skye McCole Bartusiak) ends up being dead and a spirit guide for Tim who also just happens to know how to kill the monster? Gee, I never would’ve seen that one coming. Never seen dead people come back to life to help the living before.

…no, I’ve never seen THE SIXTH SENSE. Why do you ask?

I applaud the effort to find new filmmakers, Sam. I really do. I hope your picture makes a ton of money, and as long as the cost of my ticket goes towards making EVIL DEAD 4, then I’m glad I showed up to watch your picture. You’ve already made your money back on this, I’m sure. Next time, be more careful about what sorts of projects you attach your name to, okay? I don’t want you to become the next Wes Craven.

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