Directed by: Rob Savage
Distributed by: 20th Century Studios
Written by Taylor Baker
Following a couple of screenlife features in 2020’s “Host” and 2021’s “Dashcam” director Rob Savage’s fourth feature film “The Boogeyman” is another entry in the horror genre as the up-and-coming director continues to hone his style and voice. Based on a short story of the same name by Stephen King, “The Boogeyman” was in production limbo after the Disney buyout of Fox. With the writing team Bryan Woods and Scott Beck originally endeavoring on the project after their breakout success penning “A Quiet Place” the two recently wrote, directed, produced, and released one of 2023’s worst films, “65.” Which gave some cause for concern with what audiences would find when they watched “The Boogeyman” luckily those fears were quelled quickly by the surehanded Savage whose vision for horror storytelling continues to be near the height of what one can do in the genre with a modest budget.
The film centers on the Harper family who are grieving the loss of their mother who recently passed away in a car accident, the youngest daughter Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair) is afraid of the dark and sleeps with a lit-up moon in her bed and a stream of lights on her wall. Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) the eldest daughter is a gutsy sort of shoegaze teenager until she’s confronted by a monster. That monster being the titular boogeyman. Their father, Will (Chris Messina) works as a therapist out of their home. Fairly early on in the film, a delirious man named Lester (David Dastmalchian) shows up raving about a monster killing his family. The proceeding events with Lester bring the boogeyman into the Harper home and set up the house as a haunting figure unto itself. The house is a character that the audience is distrustful of, which adds a constant layer of tension.
Rather than embellishing various threads and characters “The Boogeyman” opts to go the lean route, quick cutting from a character’s doorway exit to the next door they enter, skirting around whole drama sequences that would otherwise take up significant runtime in other hands. Savage continues to make films that are built to control you and elicit a reaction. His implementation of CGI is likewise second to none, (outside of an unconvincing implementation of fire near the end of the film) few filmmakers can be so varied and restrained in their approach to a monster film. With a strong directorial voice, committed use of lighting, and a darting pace “The Boogeyman” stands above both its contemporaries and spring horror film expectations.
“The Boogeyman” Trailer