Movie Review: The Boogeyman (2023)

For the lovers of horror, we present a look at “The Boogeyman”, a horror-thriller movie based on a short story by Stephen King, due to be released in theatres on June 2, 2023. “The Boogeyman” is produced by 20th Century Studios, which is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios. The movie follows a teenage girl and her younger sister, who are haunted by a supernatural entity after their father, a psychologist, has a confrontation with a troubled patient in their home. The movie was made initially for Hulu, but after a strong test screening and positive feedback from King himself, it was decided to release it theatrically. The test screening audiences praised its scares, performances and atmosphere. This bump up to a theatrical release is certainly a confidence booster regarding the quality of this upcoming scare fest.

The Basic Plot

The Boogeyman tells the story of Sadie and Sawyer, two sisters who have lost their mother and are neglected by their father, Will, a therapist, who is dealing with his own mental anguish. One night, Will has a confrontation with a troubled patient in their home. The patient, Lester Billings, blames the deaths of his three children on a supernatural entity “Boogeyman” that lurks in their closets. This patient then leaves behind this terrifying supernatural entity that preys on families and feeds on the suffering of its victims. The sisters must find a way to stop the boogeyman before it destroys their family and their sanity.

The Source Material

The short story by Stephen King was first published in the March 1973 issue of the magazine Cavalier and was later published as part of his Night Shift collection in 1978. There have been several short films based on The Boogeyman due to King’s “Dollar Deal” setup, which allows filmmakers to adapt the author’s work for $1. This is the first big-screen adaptation of The Boogeyman. The movie changes some aspects of the story, such as the protagonist, the setting and the themes. 

Cast & Crew

The movie is directed by Rob Savage and stars Sophie Thatcher as Sadie, Chris Messina as Will, Vivien Lyra Blair as Sawyer, Marin Ireland as Rita, Madison Hu as an undisclosed character, LisaGay Hamilton as Dr. Weller and David Dastmalchian as Lester.

Scott Beck and Bryan Woods co-write the screenplay of the movie, the duo behind the acclaimed horror film A Quiet Place. They have adapted King’s story by adding their own twists and surprises to the plot, but keeping the spirit of the book. In the interview with Empire, Rob Savage revealed that one moment from The Boogeyman was so scary for the test audience, that they ended up missing some of the lines that came after this scene. He then had to add a few moments in the scene to allow the audience to recover before the lines were delivered.

Special Effects

Special effects are the core ingredient for creating terrifying and realistic depictions of most horror movies, and the special effects team of this movie has apparently delivered the goods. The team consists of

  • Daniel Carrasco: The creature designer who created the look and design of the boogeyman. He has previously worked on movies like The Conjuring 2, Annabelle: Creation, and The Nun
  • Michael Petrucci: Supervised the fabrication and operation of the creature effects. He has previously worked on movies like The Predator, IT Chapter Two, and Godzilla vs. Kong.
  • Justin Kane Miller: Pyrotechnician who handled the explosions and fire effects in the movie. He has previously worked on movies like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Logan, and Venom.
  • Rob Stanley: He is the creature concept artist who drew the initial sketches and illustrations of the boogeyman. He has previously worked on movies like The Meg, The Mummy, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

The movie was filmed in New Orleans in winter of 2022, and features some innovative visual effects and sound design to create a terrifying atmosphere.

In Conclusion

If you are a fan of horror, mystery and thriller genres, you might want to plan on watching “The Boogeyman”. As shared earlier, the film is scheduled to be released in theatres on June 2, 2023, by 20th Century Studios. As of now, the only way to watch The Boogeyman is to head out to a movie theatre. But for that effort, the movie promises to deliver a chilling and suspenseful experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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