Personally, I don’t think there’s been a good scary movie for ages. Nowadays it’s about gore, cruelty, and violence. And that might work for some people. But it doesn’t work for me. A good scary movie, even if it includes what I named above, needs to have a good plot but also an understanding that the scariest thing is in someone’s imagination. Because sure, you can give me a big bad with big teeth and melting off skin. But if you can’t make me feel the anticipation of what is to come or what is hiding in the dark just beyond my reach, then you’ve failed. That’s where The Boogeyman comes in.
Directed by Rob Savage, it’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story of the same name. Published in 1973, it tells the story of a man recounting how the boogeyman destroyed his life and murdered his children. He’s telling this story to a therapist. The movie version seems to be following that same thread with a twist. Two sisters, high schooler Sadie and younger sister Sawyer, are trying to work through the trauma of the passing of their mother with their father Will, a therapist, not giving them much support. Will encounters a patient who speaks of a terrifying entity that snatches up your children when not watching. And it seems to have found the youngest daughter, played by the talented Vivien Lyra Blair aka Leia Organa from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
On the surface, this doesn’t very scary. Hell, even the first trailer for The Boogeyman didn’t really scare me as much. But this second one, oh this is a whole new story. You can tell that the director took his time in creating something a presence that feels like it’s looking over your shoulder. Or even right outside of your line of sight. You know it’s there. But you can’t see it. And that makes it even more terrifying and heart-pounding. It also builds anticipation for those moments where YOU DO get to see the big bad lurking. And whatever it is, it’s terrifyingly fast, strong, and knows what it wants. It’s a predator waiting in the dark and protected by the fact that parents think it’s a lie. And that right there is a recipe for a great movie we want to watch.
Watch the trailer for The Boogeyman below:
The Boogeyman hits theaters June 2, 2023.