Until I was assigned this film to review, I was completely unaware that the recent and much-maligned movie “Boogeyman”(2005) was a remake of an earlier film. But after seeing that earlier film, I have to say I still like the remake, for all its faults. This film, “The Boogeyman”, is quite plainly a mess. There were SO many blatant rip-offs of other popular horror movies of the time: “Halloween”, “The Amityville Horror” and “The Exorcist”, to name the most obvious. And the story made NO sense to me.
The film begins as a young brother and sister are on their front porch, watching through the front window as their mother and her oafish boyfriend tease and play around with each other, the mother even putting one of her stockings over her boyfriend’s head. When their mother finally notices her children, she orders them inside where the boyfriend proceeds to tie the brother to his bed and the little sister is sent to her room. But little sister is having none of that – she goes to the kitchen where she takes a huge knife and frees her brother. The brother then goes to their mother’s bedroom and kills the boyfriend (not at all graphic) and the murder is reflected in a mirror across from the bed. Flash forward twenty years and the siblings, Lacey (Suzanna Love, one of the co-writers) and Willy (Nicholas Love) are living with their aunt and uncle (Felicite Morgan and Bill Rayburn) and Lacey is married to Jake (Ron James) and the mother to young Kevin (Raymond Boyden). Willy has been mute ever since the night of the murders and Lacey is continually troubled by bad dreams so Jake arranges to have the two of them revisit her childhood home, hoping it will help her get over her fears. A new family is living in the old homestead but that mirror is still in the master bedroom and when Lacey sees it, she also sees the image of the boyfriend lying on the bed and then rising and coming towards her. She sees that this isn’t actually happening in the room, only in the mirror but she still freaks out and smashes the mirror. Big mistake! Because apparently the evil spirit of the boyfriend was trapped in the mirror and breaking it caused him to be unleashed. Jake gathers up as much of the smashed mirror as he can to take back to their home and try to repair (Big Mistake #2) but a few pieces are left behind for the spirit to murder the new family living there. This silliness goes on with more bodies piling up until someone figures out that the only way to “banish” the spirit is by putting the mirror or pieces of it under water (?). But by then, everyone except a few principal players is dead.
This movie just was NOT scary at all. The acting was adequate but no one really stood out. We did get the token priest to come and attempt to “exorcise” the mirror, the stereotypical four horny teens on a picnic who come into contact with the mirror in, I’ll grant you, a novel way. We have the near-miss barn accident, straight out of “The Other”. The house Lacey and her family live in is almost an exact replica of the Ocean Avenue house made famous in “The Amityville Horror”, even down to camera shots up at the “eyes” windows. During a thunderstorm, of course. And when Young Willy (Jay Wright) goes to kill the abusive boyfriend, we get a POV shot straight out of “Halloween”.
I noticed in the nearly unwatchable sequel, “Return of the Boogeyman” (1983), that the director took himself out of that position and this time merely co-wrote what little of the film was new (most of the sequel consists of footage from the first film) and played a character named Mickey Lombard. He should have just divorced himself entirely from the project, as the first one was just SO bad! If you just HAVE to have some sort of “Boogeyman” fix, watch the remake. At least it had some coherence to it and a few spooky moments.