Published Feb 01, 2005The boogeyman has played a role in the lives of many children everywhere as that something hiding in the closet, under the bed or lurking over you while your eyes are closed and you hide under the covers. It's about time they gave him what he deserved: a feature film.
With the help of producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, director Stephen T. Kay has brought the man responsible for millions of nightmares to life, however few will enjoy his big chance. The thought of such a legendary figure on the big screen reeks of potential but Kay has been very wasteful with his opportunity. Writer Eric Kripke's script for the film isn't terrible, utilising the back-story of a boy who's grown up with his father's loss at the hands of the boogeyman haunting him for 15 years.
Tim (Barry Watson), who witnessed his father's demise, goes back to his haunted home after the death of his grief-stricken mother (Lucy Lawless, in a blink and miss it performance). Realising it's time for closure, he decides to spend one more night in his old house to rid himself of the "skeleton" in his closet. However, his mission becomes more difficult and complex after he meets a young girl and drags his girlfriend, an old flame and his uncle into the nightmare.
While the performances are transparent and the plot is excessively predictable, Kay is easily the weakest link in the chain. The jumpy camera work and dependence on using loud, piercing sound effects does the job, making audiences jump out of their seats, but the cheap, silly thrills get tiresome quickly after hearing loss sets in and it becomes impossible to find any comfort and actually sit and attempt to enjoy the film.
Worst of all though is Kay's decision to not only reveal the villain's face, but also fall back on CGI to create the scary fiend. One look at the hideously comical monster ought to cure those bedtime blues for sleep-deprived toddlers who'll now laugh themselves to sleep. (Sony/Columbia)