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  Publicity Stills of "Boogeyman 2"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Thriller/Horror
Director: Jeff Betancourt
Cast: Danielle Savre, Matthew Cohen, David Gallagher, Tobin Bell
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: M18

Opening Day: 3 January 2008


A young woman attempts to face her fears…with chilling results. Laura Porter checks herself into a mental health facility still haunted by a paralyzing fear of the boogeyman after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child. Upon her arrival at the clinic, other patients begin dying in horrifying ways that manifest their worst fears and phobias leading Laura to believe that the Boogeyman has finally returned.

Movie Review:

The Boogeyman is probably one of the most generic of the ghouls and goblins out there, and different cultures have their own interpretation of what is a manifestation of a basic fear of the unknown, represented by a stranger in a hooded cloak going around and inflicting the unpleasurable on its victims, whatever that may be, dependant on the power of the imagination. Usually it's that of children's when parents want to frighten them into submission that the Boogeyman will get them when they're naughty.

There are countless of Boogeyman related movies out there, and while this is a "part 2", there's nothing that suggests it's a specific continuation of any earlier movie, so it's quite curious why the need for the number, instead of a reboot of a "monster" movie, so to speak. The end credits had a mention that it's based on characters created by Eric Kripke who wrote the 2005 movie Boogeyman, but there's no recurring characters here. The story begins with Laura and her brother Henry witnessing the senseless murder of their parents, whom both acknowledge to be the Boogeyman. For all we know, it could have been some random deranged killer who didn't get caught, but for all intents and purposes, this killer is given the Boogeyman status for being in that hood, and coming out of the dark.

Fast forward 10 years, and Henry (Matt Cohen) has been cured of his fear of the dark and the Boogeyman. Sister Laura (Danielle Savre) enrols reluctantly in the same psychiatric programme in order to give it a go at a cure, but finds that movie formula dictates she doesn't get the same bargain. The stage is set with the usual inevitable cliches that plague any typical Hollywood horror movie - a madhouse, wonky characters with their own emotional (here psychological) baggage and whom we don't care about, gruesome killings that has to be as explicit as possible, plenty of furniture that require big time oiling and electrical wiring that need major reworking.

What probably could be a draw here is the casting of Tobin Bell. I would put my neck out and say that Saw had probably spawned an evolution of the torture porn sub-genre in horror films, and the filmmakers here would have counted it as a coup to have Bell star in their movie. However, one cannot deny that Bell turned out to be an albatross for Boogeyman 2 despite his very limited appearance, which worked out to be more of a purposeful move to keep audience guessing. And in a cheap tongue-in-cheek and highly unnecessary move, one scene featured a cassette tape recording in the vein of how Jigsaw would leave messages for his would-be victims.

And that's probably the weakness of this Boogeyman - he took ideas for dispatching his victims from recent torture porn flicks. As the story goes along, the death traps become more elaborate, some even being quite unbelievable given the time taken, or coincidence required to set them up. I guess the good old knife is unfashionable, and the sicker the Death design, the better it is for a contemporary crowd, as it degenerates into yet another slasher movie despite suggestions of it trying to be a little more psychological. You know something's really wrong when it has to mesh a sex scene with gratuitous nudity with a gruesome murder together.

Leaving the door wide open for a sequel as per the norm for such movies, I seriously doubt we'll see any potential follow ups having quality Boogeyman stories to tell, or delivering quality scares to an audience out looking for some thrills. While Boogeyman is generic in nature, this one had gone a step further into diluting its worth.

Movie Rating:

(Boogeyman turned out to be Bogus-man in disguise)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Halloween (2007)

. Saw 4 (2007)

. Captivity (2007)

. Hostel 2 (2007)

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