12 March 2008 | Michael_Elliott
The Boogeyman (1980)
*** (out of 4)
As a child, Willy killed his mother's lover and all of it was reflected in a mirror and witnessed by his sister Lacey. Now, as adults, Lacey (Suzanna Love) begins to struggle so her husband recommend she go see a doctor (John Carradine). The doctor recommends she return to her childhood home and when she does she sees that mirror and breaks it. Soon a possession and murders follow.
Ulli Lommel's THE BOOGEYMAN is a rather effective horror film that I've always felt deserved to have a much better reputation. People have said it borrowed from HALLOWEEN and various possession films and perhaps it did but at the same time it has such a unique and weird atmosphere that you can't help get drawn into its story and the characters. THE BOOGEYMAN certainly deserves to be better remembered as it is quite effective.
The film shows what a talented director can do whenever he doesn't have too much money. The film has a terrific atmosphere that comes from the director's sense of style and especially the camera work. Just check out the sequence when Lacey is looking around the old house and the camera just basically floats around her making it seems as if someone is there waiting for her. The ending is also quite effective with the director using various color tints to build up a strong atmosphere.
The entire film really has a raw and creepy feel to it and all the credit must go to Lommel. The performances are a mixed bag but I think Love, while not the greatest actress, at least manages to keep us caught up in the story. You've also got John Carradine who shows up for a couple scenes, which means he was probably on the set for a day or two at most. The special effects are quite effective and especially the now somewhat notorious scissor death.
THE BOOGEYMAN has probably had its reputation lowered due to a couple really awful sequels, which is too bad because this is a rather effective movie.