“This is gonna get ugly,” one character says near the beginning of Boogeyman, and he’s not just talking about running out of booze at his office party. Arriving a few days too late to technically be considered a January dump job, the movie opens with young Tim witnessing his father’s apparent murder by the infamous B-man. When his estranged mother dies 15 years later, Tim (Barry Watson) must return to the decrepit haunted mansion he grew up in, navigating a perilous series of horror clichés—a creepy bird, a creepy kid, a Bates Motel stand-in—to face his nemesis. Director Stephen Kay, a devotee of the unmotivated low-angle and pointless extreme close-up, delivers a film that barely betrays evidence of having been made from a script—several scenes end with characters abruptly declaring, “I have to go”; others rely for “suspense” on brooding shots of Tim staring blankly into dark closets. By the final third, narrative logic has taken a permanent vacation—indeed, it’s difficult to remember a recent movie with less regard for spatial or temporal coherence. With the bar set so low, one wouldn’t think the ending could possibly come as a letdown. Believe me, it does.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 1, 2005