28 January 2003 | Maciste_Brother
Very strange film. Not easy to review!
Is THE BOOGEYMAN a good movie? Not really. Is it a bad movie? Well, not really. Is it a strange movie? Oh, yeah!
THE BOOGEYMAN was most likely green-lighted after the massive success of HALLOWEEN. So obviously, the Ulli Lommel film starring the beautiful Suzanna Love contains many elements that closely resemble the John Carpenter horror film. What's odd, though, is that THE BOOGEYMAN is also an amalgamation of several other horror films, like THE EXORCIST, AMITYVILLE HORROR and slashers in general.
The story is about two kids, Willy and Lacey, who kill their mother's kinky lover, who is abusive to them. This murder happens in front of a mirror and, somehow, the man's soul haunts it. 20 years later, the two kids are now young adults (played by Nicholas and Suzanna Love, real life brother and sister?) and are haunted by that tragic night. Willy hasn't spoken a word since he stabbed the man and Lacey is haunted by kinky, terrifying dreams. Oddly enough, Lacey seems to be more troubled by the murder than Willy. When seeing a psychiatrist, Lacey is suddenly possessed by the dead man's spirit (or evil in general?). And when they visit the house where the murder happened, only Lacey goes there. During this visit, Lacey sees the mirror again and inside the mirror, the "boogeyman" is seen walking towards her. Terrified, Lacey breaks the mirror and basically "releases" the boogeyman's murderous rage (BTW, this is the best scene in the movie. Very effective). Lacey's husband brings the broken mirror to their house (why?!?!) but leaves behind a shard at the house, which becomes "alive" and causes death to those who are living in that house.
Anyone coming in contact with any piece of the mirror is killed (mostly in clunky ways) or, in Lacey's case, becomes possessed and levitates. Why?!?! I dunno. At the end, there's an exorcism of sorts, with a priest coming to the rescue. Why?!?! I dunno.
Nothing makes much sense in THE BOOGEYMAN. For example, why is Willy scared of mirrors when he's the one who killed the man and didn't witness the killing in the mirror like Lacey did? The reason why the murdered man becomes a supernatural killer is murky, or why he haunts the mirror (and not a chair or a bed) and why is Lacey possessed from time to time. Had the film shown that the murdered man had supernatural powers to begin with might have made a bit more sense. Or that the brother and sister's pent-up terror is responsible for his coming back would also have been a bit more interesting. As is, the killer's raison d'être and intentions are unclear, to say the least.
The direction by Ulli Lommel is very peculiar. I can't quite put my finger on it. Is it the way the actors move about? The editing? The action, which always seems to break midway through a scene? The odd camera angles? The unfocused attention to details? The list goes on and on. I don't know if this was intentional (I doubt it) but it's different.
When you combine all of this mishmash of several movies with the very odd direction (which at times is goofy); the good to terrible acting from the cast; and the couple of questionable scenes, like when the boy is attached to the bed (which is probably why this film became a Nasty in the UK), the final product ain't stellar and yet, in the end, it's unique, in its own peculiar way. It's never really scary (most of the action happens in the daytime) and yet the film does have a undeniably creepy feel to it. The overall creepy mood of the film is achieved by the music and the excellent cinematography, which is by far the best thing in THE BOOGEYMAN. They really don't "shoot" films like this anymore.