FEARNET Movie Review: 'Boogeyman' (2012)


The SyFy Channel “horror” movies are a whole lot more entertaining when they’re super-broad and ultra-silly, and while it’d be great if the popular network buckled down and tried to make a few truly scary movies, I’m clearly a fan of their schlocky genre fare. There are endless degrees of “bad” filmmaking, but sometimes the SyFy lunatics find the right way to produce bad movies, and the result is, at the very least, a diverting way to spend 90 mildly-inebriated minutes in front of the television. In other words, they make a lot of junky movies, but I’d rather have silly SyFy schlock than no schlock at all.

Unfortunately the network’s latest effort, the blandly-titled Boogeyman, looks like a combination of good intentions paired with a flat and mostly generic follow-through. The flick arrives as a welcome respite from SyFy’s recent menu of giant monster “epics,” and it does feature a pretty creepy monster, but for the most part Jeffrey Lando’s Boogeyman is a whole lot of arid blather, a bunch of of drab character saying perfunctory things, and (to be fair) a few legitimate moments of legitimate horror. They’re very few and far between, but they’re better than nothing, I guess.

Boasting a screenplay that’s slightly better than what we’re used to from Saturday nights on SyFy -- the premise isn’t bad, but the dialogue is frequently ripe -- Boogeyman is about a small-town cop whose sons accidentally awaken a, well, a boogeyman. And then we get a lot of patently uninteresting stuff between the strangely upbeat cop and a disconcertingly pretty female cop, some other drab townsfolk, and three obnoxious kids before we end up in a third act that almost comes close to working as a mini-siege sequence, but then rambles off in other directions before closing with a truly inane sequel tease.

On the Boogeyman scale, this wholly forgettable exploit is slightly more captivating than Ulli Lommel’s terrible 1980 film of the same name, but it’s not quite as good as the 2005 Boogeyman that Ghost House churned out two more sequels from. In other words, there are still no good horror movies with the title of “Boogeyman” -- and that’s a shame, because Stephen King once wrote a boogeyman story that’s all sorts of creepy. Respect to SyFy for trying to tone things down and deliver an actual horror flick amidst all their crazy sci-fi shenanigans, but Boogeyman is simply too dreary to warrant much attention.