The Boogeyman

The Boogeyman
The Boogeyman
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It was the most dangerous threat to kids’ safety ever, and it’s been hiding in their closets for years. Now, a dark and mysterious monster from Stephen King’s short story “Boogeyman” has jumped to the big screen under its own name with an aim to terrify the grown-ups who grew up fearing him. It may not impress fans of horror movies because of its mostly predictable storyline, but it does look like a good excuse to watch for those people who are easily scared.

Parents have always taken advantage of children’s disbelief in his existence using this mythical being as a tool to control their behavior. This means that false images of distorted or menacing figures covered with darkness have stayed with young people in ways that were very long lasting throughout their lives. Do what I say and it won’t harm you. The first thing is that children must believe they can be hurt by Boogeyman – which unfortunately most children do.

But when we talk about The Boogeyman plot, he is anything but an ally who parents embrace causing household terror all around. He is not given any choice except doing everything necessary in order for the two girls he loves so much to survive and get rid of this ghoul forever from their life; Dr. Will Harper (played convincingly by Chris Messina—excellent in Air) just has no other option.

Surprisingly enough only those believing in such supernatural forces hidden away either inside wardrobes or perhaps underneath beds sometimes are afraid of him. And fear makes him more alive, more terrifying as well as real-looking altogether. That journey mirrors exactly what happens in The Boogeyman; it may be well-intentioned though disappointing at times.

The first time Sadie Harper appears on screen there is a deep sorrow about her face: Sophie Thatcher (Yellowjackets) performs quite touchingly here as an empathetic high school student girl named Sadie Harper. Sadie is uncomfortable and angry but, at the same time, she loves and protects her younger sister Sawyer, as seen by Vivien Lyra Blair (young Leia in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series), who has a memorable resemblance to Poltergeist’s Carol Anne Freeling. These are the most beautiful fragments of The Boogeyman when sisters mourn for their mother.

Their therapist father William seems like someone who should be able to provide them with psychological guidance on how to deal with grief; however, he is too mentally unstable and emotionally distant for that. Nonetheless, he doesn’t hesitate for a moment about consulting a stranger with some strange problems who just randomly shows up at his private practice without making an appointment like he does. It causes grief even more within the family.

David Dastmalchian (Boston Strangler) was splendidly creepy as Lester Billings; I wish there were more scenes showcasing him because they were intoxicating. In any good “scary” movie such as this one, one expects his on-screen presence to generate fear and mystery. He’s terrifying. Unluckily enough, though, it doesn’t take long enough to use his scariness in a subtle way that would create thrills throughout the film. That is sad. No doubt it also surprises those familiar with King’s short story.

The film adaptation has Lester Billings coming to the office of Dr. Harper, a psychiatrist’s home as in the short story. Nervous and desperate, he tells this doctor his circumstances with an urgency very few people can maintain while speaking so lowly. The way he talks, moves, and watches makes one feel like something is brewing inside of him.

He discusses how three children he had died; crib death was reported on two first ones and it got worse when the third one died.

With all our suspicions about him as viewers, we still do not know what exactly we do not believe in him. Is he telling lies? Does he intend to harm Dr.Harper? Something else is in his voice and its terror is knowing that there exists more about this subject which he does not want to be secret anymore. Will also predicts that conversation might not be too straightforward: there is a sense of mystery behind certain things spoken. It would have made it deliciously terrifying if Billings were someone every viewer feared throughout the movie, but instead, his scenes are brief leaving jump scares and shocks to create horror whereas psychological horror or even a scary antagonist existing only in our imagination would have been much better.

However, this plot focus differs significantly from the renowned short story because it concentrates more on Billings. In the movie though Billings’ tale serves simply as a point of departure for discussing events concerning the Harper family. This visit to his office marks nearly everything that involves connection with Billings himself. For those who adore King’s version, it will be sad because they will realize that unlike King’s version of Boogeyman (King 87), the storyline does not revolve around Billings.

Also disappointing as soon as we become engrossed with Billings during captivating scenes with Dr Harper as viewers only experience fear again at another plot point where it takes a different path never re-establishing the same intense grip of fear that he had on screen.

However, Billings is creepier than the character in the closet. As for the Boogeyman itself it is scary in a science fiction kind of way which I think most good horror fans will be okay with. The filmmakers would probably consider a sequel or even a spinoff film concentrating more on Dastmalchian’s Billings to enable them achieve the ultimate fright experience.

Rather, this adaptation emphasizes on children’s emotional struggles and their suffering at home and school for Sadie after her mother died unexpectedly. In addition to their burdens, these two girls are now trying to deal with their clinically trained psychiatrist dad who is far from being involved in their lives. Meanwhile Sadie and Sawyer become closer as they bond over The Boogeyman out of fear.

When you see it, that is really heartbreaking and when one gets emotionally involved in the characters; However, especially Sawyer feels so much fear for The Boogeyman hence making it doubly frustrating. What makes the father not rush out to help his children even if he can’t do it? But why was he so quick to offer assistance to a total stranger? If the plot would have gone a little deeper into this-and would have gotten more psychological about his mother’s death in relation to it-there might have been more to be scared of. Instead, there is a simple answer suggested but surprisingly however.

There are over 350 million copies sold of books by Stephen King. An author who is widely respected, loved, and a winner of several awards. With fans across the world having supported and backed over 60 adaptations of King’s novels and stories, this film adds weight to his career’s success and chances are that it will receive as much public love as it did at its private test screenings.

Just because Stephen King says he likes it means that all his fans will run to watch this film. According to Director Rob Savage who recently posted on twitter some contents of an email sent by King after watching the film, he says: “I get an email saying from stephen king.” And he goes on “Robert I’m still thinking about your movie the next morning” (Empire).

What King lovers will like most about this film is how faithfully it adapts some aspects of his work. But horror enthusiasts are likely either going to be let down or just feel like they are missing out on some very good scares.

However funny enough those who fear being afraid when they watch scary movies should really contemplate preparing themselves for this one by checking it out sometime soon or later. This time around those who finally face up towards expectantly seeing The Boogeyman for what can literally be seen- there is nothing left except nothing to fear.

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