Sunday 3 September 2023

REVIEW: The Boogeyman (2023) Starring Sophie Thatcher


"The Boogeyman," directed by Rob Savage and inspired by Stephen King's 1973 short story of the same name, offers a spine-tingling narrative of familial trauma and supernatural horror. While the film may not fully plumb the depths of its source material, it effectively conjures an eerie atmosphere and boasts commendable performances from its ensemble cast.

The story orbits the Harper family, with a particular focus on the two sisters, Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair), as well as their therapist father, Will (Chris Messina). Grieving the sudden loss of their mother, their world takes a darker turn when a disturbed individual named Lester Billings (David Dastmalchian) enters their lives. This encounter sparks a series of unsettling events as the family finds themselves ensnared in the malevolent clutches of an entity known as "The Boogeyman."

The film adeptly crafts an atmosphere teeming with foreboding. Its visual style is indelible, marked by haunting imagery that lingers long after the credits roll. Notably, the performances of the ensemble cast, including the young talents, significantly enhance the film's impact. Sophie Thatcher as Sadie and Vivien Lyra Blair as Sawyer convincingly convey a blend of vulnerability and determination, anchoring the audience's emotional investment.

Nevertheless, "The Boogeyman" does stumble in certain aspects. While the tension builds expertly, the payoff occasionally falls short. Director Rob Savage occasionally leans on jump scares and an imposing score to deliver frights, occasionally relying on these conventional tactics rather than pushing the boundaries of the genre. The film dances on the line between effectively spooky and veering into familiar horror tropes.

Additionally, the film's potential to delve deeper into the psychological trauma of the characters remains somewhat unexplored. The audience is granted glimpses of the family's emotional turmoil, yet there exists an opportunity for a more profound exploration of grief and its corrosive impact on their relationships.

In the final analysis, "The Boogeyman" stands as a commendable endeavor to translate a classic horror tale onto the silver screen. While it may not fully unlock the potential of its source material, it delivers a satisfactory dose of fright and suspense. With its memorable visuals and committed performances, it promises to make you double-check the shadowy corners of your room. Be prepared for a few heart-pounding moments that might occasionally tread familiar ground.

Among supernatural horror films, "The Boogeyman" rightfully earns its place as an intriguing addition to the genre. With some refinements in its storytelling and a willingness to venture beyond the expected scares, it could have reached greater heights. As it stands, it's a hair-raising journey that will leave you wondering what might have been lurking under your bed all along.

I rate "The Boogeyman" a solid 7/10.

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