Is the Boogeyman trilogy a thrillogy?

As I revisited the 2005 Boogeyman and got the same vibe the chilling opening of Darkness Falls gave me—boy terrified of monster coming into his room—I couldn’t fathom why I remembered nothing about this film.

Then I watched the rest if it.

This is one of the most inept, sloppy, disjointed scripts you could imagine, with the whole concept of the film morphing constantly, unable to decide what story it wants to tell. And watching the deleted scenes on the DVD thinking they might clear things up, I discovered these messy deletions would have just made things worse and can’t even imagine how someone thought it logical to have them in the script in the first place.

7th Heaven cutie Barry Watson (Teaching Mrs. Tingle) meanders through one scene after another, scared and nearly in tears, not making any sense of anything being thrown at him…or us.

15 years after witnessing his father get dragged into a closet by the Boogeyman, Watson’s Thanksgiving at his annoying girlfriend’s house is interrupted by news of his mother Lucy Lawless’s death, right after her corpse ghost terrorizes him for reasons unknown.

He goes home, stops at a mental institution to see some girl, goes to his mom’s funeral, and then goes back to the creepy old house he grew up in. He talks to a another young girl, goes into the scary closet and encounters the Boogeyman, hangs out with his former girlfriend just before she became the star of Bones, gets attacked by a bunch of ghost children, checks into a motel with his girlfriend, and then starts using closets to travel from one place to another to watch people he loves die.

He talks to the little girl again in the park in the middle of the night, she brings him to some lair covered in newspaper clippings, I guess we are supposed to assume the Boogeyman was a child molester, we have no idea why he hangs out in closets and kills only adults, and finally, Watson seems to conclude that he can kill the Boogeyman with the toys in his bedroom (exactly how old was he when he left home for college?).

BOOGEYMAN 2 (2007)

Ah, when they decide to dig in their heels and make a sequel to an already bad movie…and just end up digging the storyline into a deeper hole.

In this opener, a kid is afraid to go to the bathroom because the hall light is out. So dad change the bulb…and Boogeyman 2 comes out of the closet to deck dad in the halls instead, while both the boy and his sister watch the attack.

Years later, the sister is the one who is all fucked up over it. She checks herself into a loony bin so Boogeyman 2 can play Elm Street 3, slicing and dicing a bunch of teenage nutcases.

The sequel has something going for it—lots of gory kills. But once again Boogeyman 2 can’t stick to a clear mythology. At first his kills seem to be sort of supernatural—a kid from Super 8 gets caught up in a Session 9 light chase scene then killed in an elevator, the kid from Jennifer’s Body gets bugs in his chip bag then drinks a poisonous chemical. Yet Boogeyman 2 where’s a mask and uses sharp objects to kill. Curious.

Suddenly the main girl decides he actually uses your fears against you, a theory that barely holds together—for instance, was the dude afraid of the dark or death by elevator? Was the other dude afraid of bugs or of drinking poison?

The main girl finds an article that tells her the fate of Barry Watson to provide some connection to the first film. Also, Tobin Bell takes a break from the Saw franchise to play a creepy doctor who acts and sounds like Jigsaw. And when all is said and done…

This shit is basically Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. LAME.

BOOGEYMAN 3 (2008)

It seems as if the director of Jolly Roger and Axe Giant was like “I’m just going to take this crap out with a bang and do a Freddy Krueger type slasher.”

And Boogeyman 3 totally works as that. It doesn’t even need to connect to the other two films, but it does. The girl in the first scene is Photoshopped into a picture with Tobin Bell. After being terrified by Boogeyman 3, she runs to her friend’s college dorm room. She pulls some Elm Street 4 shit, handing the horror off to make it her friend’s problem.

Boogeyman 3 not only kills people in gory good ways, he also puts them through scary dream-like experiences first (mostly blood pouring into rooms from various openings).

He’s a great looking ghoul this time, the downside being that he always flickers onto screen looking like he’s trying to insert himself into the “Take On Me” video by a-ha. The best part is that every time he pops up, he growls “Rah!” like a kid scaring a sibling from behind a bedroom door. It’s hilarious and annoyingly effective. I can’t deny that one of the most obvious jump scares scared the shit out of me because of the “Rah!”

The fantastic kills even deliver some eerie aftermath at times, and there’s a fricking vent scene from hell. Plus, the plot is finally simple…if you believe in Boogeyman 3, he comes for you. That leads to a delicious decision for the main girl…but then the movie totally throws that all out the window for a couple of final scares. Argh! But not argh to the scares. They were cool.

Seriously, Boogeyman 3 is the best of the bunch, and now I know why I bothered to keep the series in my collection. This film is a worthy inclusion, and my OCD would never allow me to own just the third film in a franchise.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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