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The Boogeyman (2023)

Movie poster for The Boogeyman

Samantha and her little sister Sawyer have recently lost their mother in a car accident. Their father, a therapist, is grieving himself and is disconnected. Sawyer is afraid of the dark, and for good reason as it turns out, especially after a walk-in patient tells their father the story of something dark that has been stalking his family…

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

This movie is a complete mess from beginning to end. The director, Rob Savage, previously made Host and Dashcam; I have not seen either of those movies but both are on my list, as I have heard great things about them from generally reliable sources. After having sat through this wreck of a movie, though, I will admit to having second thoughts.

Where to even begin?

The Boogeyman lacks any interior logic. Characters drift from scene to scene with little apparent thought given to how one connects to the next, either in time, physical space, or motivation. Samantha returns to school after a month off at the beginning of the movie, but then only seems to show up there when the plot calls for it. Characters cut from being in one place in a scene to a completely different place in the next—“She’s in school! Now she’s walking under a freeway overpass!”—for no discernible reason. This happens repeatedly throughout the movie, and it all feels very careless.

Broadly, this movie doesn’t seem to care about making any sense or thinking about why characters would be doing any of the stuff they are doing. It doesn’t car because the primary concern is to move us along to the next big creep-out set piece. It relies entirely upon the tropes of these sorts of movies and the audience’s understanding of How These Things Work rather than telling an actual story populated by believable characters.

By the time the big finale rolled around, it was hard for me to care what happened, and honestly, it didn’t really matter. The outline of the final fight with the Boogeyman had been telegraphed all along the way, and the specific details of how it would go down about five minutes before it happened.

And then they had to tack on an ending stinger, because OF COURSE this sort of movie has to have one. And even that made no sense, but by that point I just wanted to be over.

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