The Boogeyman, a film review by Mark Kermode.

Our man-of-many-movies, Mark Kermode, has stopped hiding in the cupboard, and emerged to give his take on the horror movie, The Boogeyman. You can watch his fine review, above.

But what did we think here at SFcrowsnest Towers?

Ever since the project was announced, horror enthusiasts and Stephen King aficionados alike have been on tenterhooks. You see, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a roller-coaster ride – one where you’re convinced the safety bar isn’t quite secure, the tracks haven’t been checked in a decade, and the rickety wooden structure is held together with some rusty nails and a prayer. But, by Jove, it’s fun!

If the art of suspense could be bottled and sold, we have no doubt it’d have Stephen King’s face on the label, smirking as though he knows something you don’t. In “The Boogeyman,” King’s mastery of the genre shines, like a flashlight under a ghoul’s chin in a dark, creaky house. The film, much like the story, tiptoes on that fine line between palpable dread and the absurd, with the balance maintained as precariously as a high school drama queen on a tightrope.

The back-and-forth with the project, akin to an indecisive shopper at a supermarket, was frustrating for fans, yes. But hey, one man’s studio politics are another man’s dramatic tension, am I right? The now-infamous Disney-Fox acquisition loomed over this project like a malevolent entity, snuffing it out just when it began to take shape. But just like the titular Boogeyman, the project couldn’t be banished that easily. It lurked in the shadows, patiently waiting, until Rob Savage blew a breath of life into its spectral form.

A question hung in the air, a potent as the smell of popcorn in a movie theater lobby: could Savage deliver the frights? And with a positive test screening, we all but heard the relieved sighs of fans across the globe. Our favorite horror maestro, King himself, was suitably pleased. In fact, his reaction was so positive, it makes you wonder if Savage had some arcane Lovecraftian relic in his possession that charmed the maestro himself.

As for the film’s shift from a streaming release to a theatrical one, it only adds to the rollercoaster-esque charm. After all, what’s a good horror story without a twist, eh? A new horror tale on the big screen – the way it should be, the way it’s meant to be, where every gasp, every scream, every popcorn-tossed-in-air moment can be shared with a room full of equally terrified strangers. That’s the beauty of it.

The cast does a commendable job of playing a family caught in the grasp of unspeakable horror. Sophie Thatcher’s portrayal of Sadie Harper is as layered as an onion, and equally likely to make you cry. Chris Messina, as the distraught therapist father, takes us on a tour of the human psyche’s darkest corners, while Vivien Lyra Blair, Marin Ireland, and David Dastmalchian turn in performances as arresting as a police siren at 3 am.

As for the audience response, there’s a delightfully mixed bag of reactions. The critics, like scholars at a seance, pontificate on the effectiveness of the scare tactics, the fidelity to the source material, and the quality of the performances. The box office projections are moderately optimistic, like a cautious fortune teller reading the horror-genre tea leaves.

And so, as we count down to the release of “The Boogeyman,” we sit on the edge of our seats, clinging to our popcorn, eyes wide, hearts pounding, breath held. Just remember, dear reader, it’s only a movie… Or is it? After all, as Stephen King has taught us, the true horror often lies not on the silver screen, but in the dark corners of our own minds. And boy, oh boy, does “The Boogeyman” promise to get us all checking under our beds and inside our closets for a week… or a month… or forever, who can tell?

As we approach the grand debut, the anticipation is as thick as the fog in a graveyard at midnight. It’s like waiting for a Jack-in-the-box to spring open, knowing it’s going to scare the daylights out of you, but being unable to resist the lure of the crank. The soundtrack by Patrick Jonsson promises to make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. The lingering shots of dark hallways and quiet corners in the trailer alone have already instilled a primal fear of the shadows in the hearts of viewers.

The themes presented in the story strike at the heart of our basic human fears – loss, abandonment, and the unknown. It’s like diving headfirst into the twisted labyrinth of our deepest fears and coming out the other side, a little shaken, a little stirred, but undoubtedly alive. “The Boogeyman” is not just a film, but an exercise in catharsis, like all great horror tales should be.

The film’s journey is nothing short of a saga in itself, reminiscent of a battle against supernatural forces. From conception to near-cancellation, revival, and eventual triumphant march to the theatres, it’s been as much a tale of suspense and unexpected twists as any King story. And it seems to have a happily-ever-after in sight, as long as your idea of ‘happy’ involves edge-of-the-seat terror and potentially sleepless nights, of course.

The Boogeyman, a film review by Mark Kermode.
The Boogeyman, a film review by Mark Kermode.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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