Dog’s Movie House: “The Boogeyman” a creepy horror flick that is a little too derivative for it’s own good!

“The Boogeyman” tells the story of the Harper family. The father is Will (Chris Messina) a psychiatrist who works out of his home. He has two daughters: the high schooler Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and the grade schooler Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair). The are all grieving the recent death of the girls’ mother in a car accident and are having trouble coping. After a visit from a deranged man (David Dastmalchian) who starts blaming the deaths of his kids on a terrifying monster, the Harpers are soon haunted by a spectral predator who hides in the shadows and who’s only vulnerability is to the light. The Harpers will have to marshal all their courage and love to fight off the wicked creature.

“The Boogeyman” gets by on a lot of atmosphere. The film is well shot with lots of low lighting giving director Rob Savage a chance to play in the shadows. The Boogeyman could be anywhere, and although there are some effective jump scares, the film mostly uses the ratcheting of suspense and an oppressive atmosphere to elicit fear from the audience. The performances, especially by Thatcher and Blair as the two sisters, anchors the emotional portion of the film.

The problem is that elements of “The Boogeyman” (which was significantly altered from King’s short story for obvious reasons) remind you of other films. The creature feeds on pain and misery like “Smile” and “It” and disappears when the lights come on like “Lights Out.” The mossy plant-like growths on the ceilings and walls where the Boogeyman inhabits are an awful lot like the growths in “Stranger Things.”

That said, “The Boogeyman” is a well-made, fairly creepy film that works best when the monster is kept in the shadows. It’s design is appropriately spooky, but it’s the fear of the unknown that drives this film. A bit derivative, “The Boogeyman” still has enough going for it to recommend as an entertaining horror film. 3 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!

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