The Boogeyman

Verdict: The Boogeyman is a tense, suspenseful horror that lets your imagination run wild

  • Chris Messina, Sophie Thatcher, David Dastmalchian
  • June 2nd 2023
  • Rob Savage

The Harper family are preyed upon by a supernatural entity who stalks the dark spaces in their home.

Stephen King’s stories have been adapted for the screen many times over the years and the latest, The Boogeyman, has now arrived.

Inspired by King’s 1973 short film of the same name, The Boogeyman stars Sophie Thatcher and Vivien Lyra Blair as Sadie and Sawyer Harper, two sisters who are mourning the recent death of their mother.

Their father, Will (Chris Messina), works from the family home as a therapist, and one day, a creepy man named Lester Billings (David Dastmalchian) shows up needing his help.

His children have all died because of a supernatural being – but everyone thinks he did it.

After the visit, the entity stays in the Harper house and preys upon the family…

Host filmmaker Rob Savage cleverly subverts the “monster in the closet” horror trope in an unnerving way. The being doesn’t slowly creak the closet door open, it gets straight down to business!

It does tease its prey at times, but it often moves in an unexpectedly fast and startling way.

The creature is horrifying but thankfully we don’t see it in its entirety for a long time – the creepy sound design does a lot of the heavy lifting.

For a long time, we just see little glimpses and its eyes shining in the dark – this is very effective because it lets your imagination run wild. It’s not so scary once you know exactly what it looks like so the reveal is smartly reserved for the ending.

The film isn’t bloody or violent – it is all about the tension and suspense and achieves those very well.

It preys on the childhood fear of the monster in the bedroom and baddies hiding in the dark and there are a couple of jump scares to boot as well.

The star of the show was Blair as Sawyer, who bravely goes looking for the entity instead of running away or hiding. She is an adorable child star and a few of her lines of dialogue are surprisingly funny.

Thatcher and Messina ably carry the weight of their characters’ grief – Sadie wants to reach out and communicate with her dad about their shared loss but he would rather pretend everything is fine than talk about it.

Savage made a name for himself during the pandemic with his lockdown horror hit Host and followed it up with the stressful Dashcam, so you can rest assured that The Boogeyman is in safe hands.

In cinemas from Friday 2nd June.

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