REVIEW: ‘The Boogeyman’: Keep your lights on!

A scary movie, but not a horrifying one

An official poster of The Boogeyman.


An official poster of “The Boogeyman.”


I knew very little about this movie before I went to the theater and watched it.

I am not claiming to be a horror movie aficionado, but I am not easily rattled by scary movies anymore. I watched most of “The Conjuring” movies over the past year and did not find them to be all that scary.

“The Boogeyman” was surprisingly (and unfortunately) much scarier than I had anticipated.

I knew it was an adaptation of a short story by Stephen King. I have seen quite a few movie adaptations based on stories written by King, and they have been intense but not necessarily scary. The “It” movies were creepy but not terrifying, and it was the same with “The Shining” and “Doctor Sleep.”

I read the Wikipedia recap of the short story directly before writing this article, and I honestly think it would have been a far more compelling plot than what the movie actually had.

“The Boogeyman” definitely had its fair share of moments that made me flinch in my seat, but there was no underlying horror that existed behind the plot. Movies like “Hereditary” are scary when you look into the background context of the movie, but the boogeyman as portrayed in the movie did not really have any kind of backstory.

The Boogeyman’s character design was also kind of underwhelming; I thought it would be something along the lines of the Babadook but it was more like a creature from “Stranger Things.”

A lot of the scary moments in the movie were done through jump scares, which I think is kind of a cheap way to scare an audience. I prefer movies that really make you think and immerse you into the story being told, not show you the monster’s face up close and play some loud music before quickly cutting to a different shot.

So far this review has been pretty critical. I like to highlight the things I enjoy about movies that I watch, so stay tuned for the things I liked about “The Boogeyman.” Spoilers begin now.

At the beginning of the movie, a man named Lester Billings visits the house of the main characters to talk with Will Harper, the father of his family and a therapist who has an in-home office. Side note: Billings is played by David Dastmalchian, who I have just now deemed the King of Cameos.

Billings is visiting Harper to talk about the sudden death of his children, knowing that police would not believe his explanations.

Billings explained to Harper that some kind of evil entity was killing his children, and he was scared that it latched onto him. Harper excused himself and called the police, and Billings slipped away into Harper’s house, and one of Harper’s daughters eventually found him hanging in a closet.

I am not going to explain the whole plot, but eventually, the main character Sadie Harper goes to Billings’ house after finding him dead in her house. After seeing some eerie black mold spreading through the house and a bunch of lit candles, Sadie encounters Billings’ wife Rita.

After a quick encounter with the Boogeyman, Rita implies that she thinks the Boogeyman has been around since humans first discovered fire.

By this point in the movie, the Boogeyman has been terrorizing Sadie’s younger sister Sawyer and it is honestly really sad.

Rita calls Sadie after Sawyer is hospitalized by the Boogeyman, saying that she has a way to stop the creature.

Rita has rigged a room of her disheveled house with trip wire and shotgun shells and, in a crazy turn of events, ties Sadie up with zip ties and lures the Boogeyman into the room. The monster sets the trap, gets injured, kills Rita and disappears.

I will leave the rest of the plot up to you to see, dear reader. But I suggest that you keep the lights on after watching it.