JANUARY 12, 2008
I knock it every now and then, but honestly I don’t really remember much about the original Boogeyman, other than that Xena was in it for like 2 seconds and that the alleged “hero” of the film was really the source of all the deaths, and had he just not been a fucking baby, no one would have died. Yet he was like the only survivor. Jerk.
But I remembered that I didn’t like it all that much, so I was surprised to discover how relatively un-bad the direct to video Boogeyman 2 was. It ties into the original in a very thin way (Barry Watson’s character is mentioned, and apparently now dead) but otherwise it’s not even the same subgenre. Whereas the original was your standard ghost/revenge type movie, this one’s a straight up slasher movie. Our characters are all mental patients with different phobias, and the killer kills them accordingly (i.e. stuffs the anorexic girl full of fat until she explodes). This concept gets stretched at times (the guy who is agoraphobic is suddenly simply “afraid of opening up”, apparently only so the killer can peel his skin away and grab his heart right out of his rib cage), but at least they stick with it, unlike the somewhat similar Bad Dreams, which began on this concept but did away with it after like 2 kills.
(Some spoilers follow... I know I originally said that spoilers wouldn’t be marked but I’ve decided to change this policy for newer films such as this, which has only been out a week and thus doesn’t have many other reviews yet. Plus I doubt many people rushed out to rent it the day it came out, like I inadvertently did.)
However, the Boogeyman (supernatural) one is still around, which leaves the ending of the film a bit muddled. The killer is a regular guy, but he’s nuts because he saw the supernatural boogeyman (presumably, the one from the first movie) kill his parents. So where is the supernatural one? On break? Or did he really kill his parents himself? If it’s spelled out (which is something I expect from this type of movie!!!), I missed it. Either way, I was disappointed that the supernatural Boogeyman and the guy in a mask Boogeyman never fought it out.
Apparently the budget was lower than that of the original, which is really only evident in the casting. It’s all no names here, with some minor exceptions (including small roles by cast members from Xena and 7th Heaven, giving the film an odd connection to the original). Tobin Bell is given lots of attention on the DVD case, but he’s only in like 3-4 scenes. Still, he fares much better here than in Buried Alive, so he’s got that going for him.
I laughed when I saw the DVD listed as an “Unrated Director’s Cut”, since it’s a direct to DVD movie and thus no other version of the film exists. But, unlike many other Sony/Ghost House “unrated” versions, this one would NOT ever pass for PG-13. In addition to occasional nudity, there is a great deal of gore here, which was a pleasant surprise. And it looks good on top of that, so kudos.
One thing that DIDN’T look all that good was the nonstop handheld camerawork. In a film like United 93, it works because it’s adding to the realism. But when you’re dealing with a movie about a fucking boogeyman, realism is sort of the least of our concerns, and the fact that seemingly the entire film is shot this way, it’s a bit annoying. Get a tripod.
There are two commentary tracks, for some reason. I listened to (most of) the one with the director and writer. It’s not too bad of a track, and they are thankfully not under any idea that they have made some sort of masterpiece (nor do they knock it), but I admit I sort of zoned out after awhile. Still, it’s far more worth your time than most DTV commentary tracks (I’m looking at you, Solstice!), and I like that they name drop some more obscure slasher movies as inspiration (including April Fool’s Day; they also admit a love for Amy Steel which endeared them to me). There’s also a baffling “storyboard to screen” comparison which is mainly just a bunch of random images and film clips moving around an After Effects composition set to creepy music. I didn’t listen to the other commentary with Tobin Bell and the producers, nor will I. Despite the movie being fairly decent, there’s just something about spending 5+ hrs with Boogeyman 2 that I am not mentally comfortable with at this point in time.
What say you?