A thrilling adaptation of Stephen King
Entertainment News

A thrilling adaptation of Stephen King

A new horror movie has arrived in theaters thanks to 20th Century Fox. The bogeyman is based on Stephen King’s 1973 short story of the same name. It’s directed by Rob Savage, who previously directed the 2020 quarantine horror film Host. It is co-written by Scott Beck, Bryan Woods (A Quiet Place, 65) and Mark Heyman (Black Swan). With a team like this, you are in good hands. The Boogeyman is a well-crafted horror film with excellent performances and tension that will keep you on your toes.

The Boogeyman was originally slated for a streaming release, but positive test screenings allowed the film to hit theaters. Another recent horror movie with a similar path to theaters was Smile, which released in 2022 and grossed $217.4 million against a budget of $17 million. It seems a similar fate may be the case for The Boogeyman, which follows high schooler Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and her younger sister Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair). As they mourn the death of their mother, their father Will (Chris Messina) is unable to bring them comfort.

A man named Lester (Dastmalachian) visits Will at his job as a therapist and asks for help. He unknowingly summons a terrifying entity known as The Boogeyman. This is your classic horror movie setup with a demon haunting a family. It can sometimes be derivative and formulaic, but when it comes to good horror, direction is a crucial part of making it work. Savage is a talented director, having previously operated in horror on screen, and he is now applying his skills to more traditional film. It creates a lot of tension with the familiar “bump in the night” scene pattern and uses certain ideas to bring the horror to life.

The movie uses a spherical lamp to create some fun horror scenes. There’s another scene, which was teased in the trailer, that uses a red strobe light that seems tailor-made for a great scare. It’s the kind of movie that makes you want to sleep with your closet door closed. It’s a movie that plays with the famous trope of kids fearing the monster under their bed or in their closet. It does a lot of the stuff you’ve seen before, so in the hands of a lesser director, this movie might have been disposable. However, Savage’s direction helps bring The Boogeyman to life, knowing how to catch you off guard.

Thatcher is excellent in the film. Audiences were introduced to her through her appearances in Yellowjackets and The Book of Boba Fett, and she may be a rising star. She brings a lot of sadness to the character of Sadie who spends the film mourning the loss of her mother. Her isolation is clear as she navigates between her high school friendships and a few others who aren’t as kind to her. Her character is well-realized and likeable as she spends the film clinging to what’s left of her mother, unable to move on.

Chris Messina is also fantastic. He gives a sober but sad performance as a therapist whose job is to help people, but, under his own grief, cannot help himself or his daughters. It’s a significant change from his other role earlier this year on Air, and those unfamiliar with the actor may not be able to tell it’s the same person. Also, Vivien Lyra Blair shines again in this film. After her breakout role as young Princess Leia in the Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series, she shows her talent in this film with great humor and charm while being realistically scared during the more intense scenes of the movie.

Like all great horror movies, The Boogeyman features a disturbing mystery at the forefront. The problem is that he doesn’t have a very specific set of rules for his antagonist, and he’s not having much fun with the idea. There are times when the film feels like a creature-by-numbers feature, doing a good job of scaring you, but not very well. It’s got all the flickering lights and jumps you’d expect from a movie with that premise, but it knows how to surprise you and it should satisfy most fans of the horror genre.

While some might despise PG-13 horror – it’s not one of the scariest movies to come out in recent years – The Boogeyman has a lot going for it. It’s part Lights Out, part The Babadook, and it scares you while having moments of levity that don’t break the tension. It sums up most of its story threads nicely and pays homage to the King story it’s based on without sticking too close to it. If you were looking for a horror fix for summer 2023, this one isn’t a bad choice.

SCORE: 7/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good”. A successful entertainment that is worth seeing, but which may not please everyone.

Disclosure: ComingSoon attended a press screening for our The bogeyman review.

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