Earlier this year we had a direct-to-video sequel that might not have exceeded its predecessor, but it sure was a helluva lot better than all the other DTV horror movies we've seen. I'm talking, of course, about Wrong Turn 2, and if you're wondering why Fox decided to release Hills Have Eyes 2 into theaters, but not WT2, well feel free to join me in your wonderment.
So with the visions of Wrong Turn 2 bouncing through my head, I felt a little better about sitting down with Boogeyman 2, but this DTV sequel would have a harder road to travel than Wrong Turn 2 did, and here's why: The first Wrong Turn is actually a pretty good horror flick, whereas the first Boogeyman is actually a stunningly powerful sleeping aid. But Boogeyman 2 is not Boogeyman, and so off we go:
One of the first things I noticed was that, yep, Boogeyman 2 is a definite improvement on the first one. But really, that's a compliment on par with "She's less fat than a sperm whale," so perhaps I'll get a bit more specific in a second. The second thing I noticed was that not only does Boogeyman 2 have nothing whatsoever to do with the first movie (which happens all the time in sequel-dom), but the flick seems to be a slasher retread that'll be exceedingly familiar to anyone who's seen Halloween 2, Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and / or Andrew Fleming's Bad Dreams.
Basically, an 18-year-old girl (who once saw her parents get slaughtered on Christmas Eve by a mysterious madman) checks herself into a mental ward (just as her big brother checks out, oddly enough) and meets up with a boringly eclectic group of misfits. There's the gothy girl who likes to cut herself, the bleach-blonde with eating disorders, and (of course) the agoraphobic hunk who snaps at everyone. And before you can say "oh, it's a slasher flick," up pops the ol' mystery maniac who begins killing people (all together now) by way of their very worst fears. The set-up is generic (at best), the follow-through (also known as the body count) is not half-bad, and the pay-off is as pulpy as it is obvious to any horror freak with half a brain.
Amidst the flat dialog, the absentee acting performances, and the plot twists that are so overused they're hardly twisty anymore, you'll also spot four or five aggressively nasty gore scenes (I love how the beloved PG-13 gets tossed in the dumpster once the letters DTV are brought up), several dry and lengthy scenes of aimless hall-wandering, a few pointless scenes of bare breastiness, and a very bored-looking Tobin "Jigsaw" Bell as a human red herring who pops up just to confuse the simple story just a little.
But still, for all its missteps and glaring screenplay groaners, I'd call Boogeyman 2 more of a mindless cable-flick time-waster than an overtly terrible horror flick. It hearkens back to the slasher-in-a-hospital sub-genre that died out for good reason, and it's more than jam-packed with sloppy components, but at least it's a little bit creepy, surprisingly gory, and slightly more entertaining than the gaping yawn-fest that was the original Boogeyman.
Plus, if you somehow fall in love with the flick, you can pick through two separate audio commentaries (one with director Jeff Betancourt and screenwriter Brian Sieve, the other with producers Gay Bryman & Steve Hein and actors Tobin Bell & Danielle Savre. Also included is a featurette focusing on (what else?) the gore.