#200 -- Boogeyman (2005)

Rating: 4 / 5
Director: Stephen Kay

I don't remember what my rating was for the sequel of this movie, but I hope it wasn't very high. I saw this one first, but I re-watched the second one before I re-watched this one...if that makes any sense. I enjoyed the sequel then, but now that I watch this one again, I realize how shitty it was in comparison. That one wasn't even a real boogeyman; it was a regular crazy man pretending to be the boogeyman. Here, it's the real deal.

It's about a guy named Tim Jenson (Barry Watson from 7th Heaven). When he was eight years old, he saw his father dragged into his closet by an unknown force. He was already scared of the mystery that lay in his closet (and other various small rooms), and that only intensified his fear. As an adult, that fear did not dissipate at all. Tim lived in an apartment with heavy duty lighting, and he removed all doors that led to small spaces. His mother went a little crazy after his father "left," and she was institutionalized. Honestly, Tim should have been right there beside her. He seemed quite nutty throughout the majority of the film. When his mother died, he went back to his old house to look through her things, and perhaps give himself a little bit of closure. I think he wanted to prove to himself that he wasn't afraid, and that he could make it through the night.

He befriended a little girl (because children were the only people who would believe him), and he later learned that she was the ghost of a child that the boogeyman had taken. She revealed to him the way to defeat him: by facing him. Tim wandered through closets that led him to other places--places like the motel room where his girlfriend was snatched, and to a friend's house where she was almost snatched. Finally, he bolted a chair down, facing his closet door. He was determined to rid himself of the boogeyman once and for all.

The boogeyman wasn't a real man at all. He was made up of all the things that frightened Tim as a child. I think we've all had things like that. Tree limbs outside the window that look like bony fingers; jackets that look like people in the dark of night, and other such things. It was all of these things combined that created the boogeyman; they turned him into reality. The fear of the boogeyman troubled Tim more than anyone else, because he believed in him more than anyone else. It is the old psychology that only believing it makes it true.  If you don't believe, it can't hurt you. All Tim had to do was face those old fears, and make himself realize that there truly wasn't anything to be afraid of at all.

I really like this movie. I wouldn't call it one of my favorites, but it's definitely good. It's got a few jump-scares in it, but that's not the only reason I like it. We can all relate to it. I think everyone, at some point in their childhood, was afraid of the monster in the closet. I know I was. There was an old urban legend about a boy getting locked in the closet by his brother. The boy screamed and yelled for a while, but the brother just laughed and wouldn't let him out. After a while, his screams faded. The brother opened the closet door to find that the boy had vanished. That is what terrified me. It is, again, the fear of the unknown that causes us to tremble while opening our closet doors. We don't know what's in there; all we know is that, once we open that door, it's going to get us.

Boogeyman beckons the child in all of us. It feeds on our most intimate and childish fears, and then it throws them in our face. It's a horror movie, but at the same time it's a psychological thriller. It's all about the downfall of a man's sanity, all due to the fears that lived on past his childhood.

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