February 13, 2005

The Scariest Thing About The Boogeyman Is That It Got Made

by JEREMIAH LEWIS, American Digest Film Editor

Boogeyman -- 0 out of 5 stars

I'VE NEVER HAD A HIGH COLONIC, but I hear they're quite good for clearing out your system. The experience, I'm told, is not entirely pleasant, involving an invasion of your nether regions and a spreading sensation not unlike a street sewer overflow. That said, I'd still rather undergo multiple, massive high colonics than sit through another screening of The Boogeyman.

Peeping out of every plot hole in existence, the Boogeyman terrorizes troubled Tim "Timmy" Jensen (Barry Watson), a twenty-something with a history of mental illness and the ability to look like a has-been from the WB; his first encounter with the Boogeyman occurred when he was seven, in which his father was sucked into his bedroom closet and taken to...well, know one really knows for sure.

Flash forward fifteen years to a going away party for one of Tim's colleagues, where we meet his girlfriend Jessica (Tory Mussett), whose acting made me wish the Boogeyman would break his cover just to take her away from poor Timmy. Alas, it was not to be.

Later, at her parent's house for Thanksgiving, he is visited by the soon-to-be ghost of his mother, who yells at him and pinches his face. Jessica, being the annoying strumpet that she is, can't understand why Tim is freaked. Thankfully, the whole affair is cut short by a phone call a few minutes later, informing Tim that his mother has just died.

The first thing he does is visit his childhood shrink, who advises him to stay in his childhood manse one night, just to get over his irrational fear of closets. Indeed, his phobia isn't even limited to closets; doors, cabinets, decrepit tool sheds, and abandoned and derelict houses all seem to cause Watson's face to crease into an expression that mingles fear of the unknown with fear of never getting another acting gig.

At the funeral he meets up with some old family and friends, and meets a young girl named Frannie (Skye McCole Bartusiak) who seems to know about Tim and his little encounter with Messier Boogeyman. He denies it of course, trying to impress her, but she is unmoved. Later that day, Tim finds himself hearing weird noises in the old house. He catches Frannie in the abandoned toolshed and they pass the time with some dialogue, and he tells her to count to five if she's ever scared. Precocious child that she is, she wonders what happens when you get to six. He doesn't give her the obvious answer of moving on to seven, eight, nine, and ten, but then he's not exactly the brightest pencil in the kool-aid, if you know what I mean.

Screenwriters Eric Kripke, Juliet Snowden, and Stiles White have constructed a supernatural (ie. CG) being that doesn't just reside in closets, but actually uses them as warp tunnels, ala Super Mario Brothers, to abduct, kill, or maybe just tickle little kids and their fathers. This comes as quite a surprise to Tim, who discovers the Boogeyman's mode of transportation after hitting the sauce in a motel room with Jessica. Somehow, he ends up back in his old house, where he stumbles into Kate (Emily Deschanel).

She gets freaked out and thinks he's "sick" and threatens to "call the cops". He then meets up with Frannie, who we discover is actually a victim of the Boogeyman. They go to a house that could benefit from a visit by Bob Vila, where she tells him about her father, who tried to face down the Boogeyman, but got too scared and got abducted / eaten / tickled. She tells Tim to go back to the place where "it first began". A ha!

The proof of the Boogeyman's existence lies within Tim's childhood home, a decrepit fixer-upper that has a perpetual surround sound choral concert just around the corner, a lot of plastic wrapped furniture, and inside his own room, some toys that no child in their right mind would ever consider owning or playing with. Consider:

Tim and Kate face down the Boogeyman, who finally "comes out of the closet", revealing himself to be really gay CG effects, featuring slightly less realism than Lawnmower Man offered us back in 1992 (that's pre-Jurassic Park, folks). And then he gets sucked back into the closet, realizing he needed some more particle effects added to his costume.

There is no reason anyone should see this film, ever. What little capital this movie might have had was squandered as each unflinchingly bad minute ticked by. If you must see it, do so with friends in a theatre conducive to laughter and pointed references to 7th Heaven. If you value your time, money, and intelligence, you'd be better off selling couch insurance.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to visit my proctologist.

Jeremiah Lewis of Fringe reviews films both at his site and American Digest. Lewis can be reached directly at jeremiah.lewis@gmail.com

Posted by Vanderleun at February 13, 2005 12:20 AM
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