Boogeyman Steven Kay

Steven Kay loves focus pulls. I imagine it's occasionally difficult for him to maintain relationships with other human beings, given his intensely passionate feelings for showing objects out of focus, then, suddenly, in focus. A master of this particular visual technique, Kay has made an entire film dedicated to his love. While the movie may work as a testament to his adoration, it fails in most other respects — mostly those that are traditionally associated with decent, watchable cinema. While the premise of the film sounds like it could potentially not blow, Kay's disastrous direction foils any plans of a rise from mediocrity. The story centres on the literal and figurative demons of Tim Jenson (Barry Watson), whose father was devoured by the Boogeyman when he was only eight years old. Fifteen years later, Tim remains deathly afraid of closets, so much so that the mere sight of one causes him to stand stoic in front of it until someone enters the room and asks what he's doing. How he has survived so many years of awkward staring with no explanation to those around him is never fully explored, but there always remains the possibility of a sequel. Generally, Kay relies on quick inter-cuts paired with piercing blasts of noise to keep the audience on their toes, and he succeeds, creating empty scare after empty scare. The valiant attempt by screenwriters Eric Kripke, Juliet Snowden and Stiles White to infuse some depth to the story is massacred by the hollow direction, and Watson's best attempts to look emotionally troubled become comical as he keeps the same expression on his face for the course of the film's 89 minutes. The two bland "Making Of" features included offer an unintentionally hilarious look at Kay, who is a dead-ringer for Eugene Levy's Mitch Cohen character in A Mighty Wind. The alternate ending, which was clearly abandoned, visual effects half-complete, after someone realised it sucked, isn't worth watching, nor are any of the deleted scenes. The "Visual Effects Progressions" are more interesting, though one is forced to question why the resulting creature looks as bad as it does. How Sam Raimi ever ended up producing this is beyond the comprehension of even the most advanced computers. (Columbia/Sony)