Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The first 5 minutes of Boogeyman shows slight promise. Little Timmy is in bed, terrified of the shadows on his walls. As he peers around his darkened room innocent objects appear menacing. Little Timmy is primarily preoccupied with his slightly ajar closet door. Eventually Timmy’s father marches into the room and gives Timmy the standard, “There’s no such thing as monsters” line. To prove his point he opens the closet door, peers in, and turns around to inform Timmy that the closet is monster-free. Then, WHAM! Timmy’s father is sucked upwards into the closet never to be seen again. Is this what really happened or is this how Timmy’s little boy mind is able to make sense of his dad’s disappearance? Could it be that Timmy’s dad merely abandoned the family?
Fast-forward 22 years. Tim is now in college and works for the school paper. It’s Thanksgiving and Tim is going home with his not-very-attractive girlfriend for the holiday break. This, we learn, will be the first time he will be meeting her family. Arriving at his girlfriend’s home he endures an awkward dinner where he’s asked uncomfortable questions (e.g., “What does your father do for a living”?) by his girlfriend’s obnoxious father. There’s really no point to any of this because we never see the family again after this scene. Later that night Tim is plagued by nightmares about his (Lucy Lawless) mother. When he wakes up a phone call from his uncle informs him that his mother died – ooh, scary dream premonition! Apparently Tim has not been home in years and his uncle wants him to return to his childhood home to sort through his mother’s items. The rest of the film is about Tim confronting childhood demons once and for all. Of course, despite the fact that he has avoided his childhood home for years, he decides to spend the night there alone. Why? Why would he do this? If you saw your father sucked away in your closet, would you ever spend a night in that house again? Sigh, horror-movie logic/behavior.
Tim’s return home doesn’t really end up being too interesting. The director relies on loud screeching violins to punctuate otherwise boring scenes. Cheap scares are in abundance here. I’m talking about the cat-jumping-out-of the-pantry variety. The fatal flaw of this film, however, is the terribly rendered CG climax as Tim confronts his “Boogeyman.” Think Lawnmower Man CG fx, which looked cool in the late 80s but not in 2005. I love CG, but I really don’t think it has a place in horror. I always find it distracting and it takes me out of the movie.
Ultimately Boogeyman is much ado about nothing. There wasn’t anything remotely scary or engaging about this film. Oh yeah, one other oddity, Tim bears a striking resemblance to Jimmy Fallon. I actually found this distracting because I kept thinking this throughout my viewing (e.g., “Wow, from that angle it could be Fallon’s twin”, He totally looks like Jimmy Fallon there”, “Is that Jimmy Fallon?” etc).