It’s the battle of the bad boys! I take a quick look at The Basement, Boogeyman, and The Summoning.
THE BASEMENT (2011)
This indie film wastes no time in getting to the action—and then becomes kind of actionless for quite a while after. It’s predominantly a drama, not horror.
We are thrown into a scene of chaos as four boys and a girl frantically board themselves into a basement as a psycho pounds away at the door. One of the boys has already been badly hurt by the psycho, and that’s all we really learn about the situation. The kids don’t know who the psycho is or why they are being targeted. They also quickly realize there’s no way out of the basement except the door through which they entered.
The remainder of the film is heavy character development as the kids talk, yell at each other, and express their feelings for each other. Only once is there a kill scene. Other than that, the movie comes down to two of the boys, who are brothers, brutally fighting over the girl. It’s a great fight scene and the performances of the two boys are really strong.
There’s one of those not quite logical twist endings that isn’t anything you haven’t seen before. There are also a few issues that take away from the film. For starters, one character is supposed to be dead but clearly blinks…TWICE…after which, the eyes are suddenly closed! Takes you out of the moment. And finally, during the “one year later” scene at the end, the kids have a radio on and there’s a news story about an escaped mental patient from a particular hospital—which should totally grab everyone’s attention yet they completely ignore it!
Isn’t there already a movie with this title? No. There are about a dozen of them! But they’ve never been a SyFy original before!
Fear not—this is as routine as a boogeyman movie can get. A kid is challenged to go into a scary old man’s house. Shit happens, kid runs out, and scary old man is killed by…the boogeyman! And the boogeyman is monster cool, looking like a sort of scarecrow corpse.
The small town’s local law officer is cutie Eddie McClintock of TV show Warehouse 13, so that’s a plus. Turns out his sons were the ones at the house. And now the boogeyman is coming for them. But that doesn’t stop him from claiming other victims, including two lesbians in the woods.
Finally, the boogeyman comes indoors, which leads to very familiar boogeyman setups, including closet and under-the-bed scares. Then things move to the police station. Really, the boogeyman tours the whole town. And finally, an old man who knows the boogeyman’s reason for being there comes to save the day.
It’s pretty much a by-the-book SyFy worthy watch and nothing more. And considering there’s very little gore to begin with, it’s a shame they have to ruin it with CGI. Invest in a bucket of fake blood, for fuck’s sake!
THE SUMMONING (2015)
The Summoning is a made-for-TV movie—channel TV One to be exact—and it feels like it. It also feels like it should have been a half hour short in an anthology instead of a full-length feature.
A woman still mourns the hit and run death of her previous husband despite being remarried. So when a man walks into her bar and gives her a coin and instructions for a ritual that is supposed to bring back the dead for one day, she doesn’t hesitate in summoning her deceased husband.
For one evening, everything is super romantic between them. But imagine her surprise when she wakes up the next day and dead hubby is still there! Sexy dead daddy wants revenge on the person who killed him and he’s going to use his living wife as his weapon.
You might say The Summoning dabbles in the black arts because it mostly becomes a mystery as the wife tries to find out who killed her dead husband… because his ghost is bullying her to do so. His spirit even enters her daughter’s body a few times to show he’s serious. And one point, he does the played out CGI big demon mouth thing. Generally a great premise, but ultimately a silly, forgettable film.