The Boogeyman reviews have arrived and they are largely positive despite one major critique. The film, which is adapted from the Stephen King short story of the same name, follows two sisters and their widower father attempting to combat a supernatural entity that has taken root in their home to prey on their fear and pain. The cast of the film includes Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, Vivien Lyra Blair, and David Dastmalchian.
Today, critics have been allowed to share their thoughts on the film ahead of the Boogeyman release date on June 2. While many reviews say that the project doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from other supernatural horror thrillers in the same vein, most agree that it still possesses a tremendously effective atmosphere thanks to director Rob Savage. Read select passages from various reviews below:
Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com:
There are only such passing thrills in this movie, which has a formulaic approach to scares that rely greatly on sound mixing, false alarms, and kids in danger. In the film’s first half, it makes for a sometimes uneasy—but hardly scary—atmosphere. The use of spare light and sound is its most clever facet, like when Sawyer tumbles her big light ball into the unknown down the hallway, hoping she isn’t right about what’s on the other side.
Kate Erbland, IndieWire:
There’s no shortage of good ideas here, from the heavy (like how different people grieve or, in some cases, don’t grieve) to the very clever (like how kiddie nightmares can give way to actual terror), but from the second that “The Boogeyman” reveals itself, Savage’s film ceases to be interesting or scary. There’s nothing scarier than things that go bump in the night, but the terror is easily dispelled once we turn on the light and see what’s really there.
Kim Newman, Empire Magazine:
In Host and DASHCAM, director Rob Savage explored up-to-the-moment fear — using 2020’s modes of storytelling (Zoom meetings, YouTube paranoia) as old terrors crawl out of the shadows of the lockdown-pandemic era. In The Boogeyman, adapted from Stephen King’s 1973 short story, Savage turns to more traditional horror. Picking up a project initiated before the world went on pause by the Quiet Place team of Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, Savage gives us a teen-centred family-values ghost story, powered by gnawing grief and childish wonder and calculated to deliver the maximum number of scares with minimal fuss.
Ben Pearson, SlashFilm:
“The Boogeyman” doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel, but thankfully, it doesn’t need to. Savage knows exactly how to push all the right buttons and pull all the right levers to engineer maximum potency, utilizing classical set-ups and pay-offs in entertaining, satisfying ways.
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter:
The Boogeyman, in both its literary and cinematic forms, is undoubtedly relatively minor King. But when it’s done this well, even minor King is major scary.
Derek Smith, Slant Magazine:
Ultimately, The Boogeyman is like so many other modern horror films that prioritize mood above all else. To its credit, it does have a few evocative sequences that serve up genuine chills, but looking for any thematic weight or narrative depth in it is like kids searching their closets for the actual Boogeyman.
How Does The Boogeyman Compare To Other Recent Stephen King Hits?
At the time of writing, The Boogeyman has debuted on Rotten Tomatoes with a solidly Fresh score of 82 percent. While that may change as more reviews are added, so far the film’s generic qualities have seemingly been overcome by its overall effectiveness. The Boogeyman cast, while small, has also seemingly helped to elevate its esteem.
Even if the score eventually dips but remains Fresh, it will be a huge reversal on the trend set by the author’s recent adaptations. Other 2020s outings that have adapted his work include this year’s Children of the Corn, which stands at a dismally Rotten 11 percent. Last year’s pair of King films, Firestarter (10 percent) and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (45 percent) also have firmly Rotten scores.
The Boogeyman is looking like it will redeem the reputation of King’s 2020s adaptations, perhaps bringing his onscreen reputation back up to where it was in the late 2010s. Both 2017’s It (86 percent) and 2019’s It: Chapter Two (62 percent) were critical and commercial successes that were capped off with 2019’s well-received Doctor Sleep (78 percent). While it seems like The Boogeyman will fall somewhere in the middle of the pack when all is said and done, it may help usher in a newly reinvigorated era of King films.
Source: Various (see above)