Boogeyman 2 (2007)

Boogeyman 2 (2007)

Fear. In The Flesh.

Having seen her parents murdered by “the boogeyman” as a small child, Laura voluntarily checks herself into a mental health facility with a proven track record in helping people conquer their phobias. However some of the patients start to go missing and the body count begins to rise. Has the boogeyman come to finish the job or is someone else stealing his calling card?

 

I hated the first Boogeyman film with a passion. It was all that was wrong with cinematic horror films of the 20th century and sucks even worse four years later after attempting to watch it again. It had a promising premise which was ruined with an audience-friendly rating, silly special effects, a poor villain that was grossly underused and a long-winded story that didn’t do anything in the running time except go around in circles. So in the modern remake/sequel/prequel market, it was perfect material to find itself with a straight-to-DVD horror sequel! Low and behold the coming of Boogeyman 2!

It’s a real shame that this one has been tagged as a sequel to one of the worst horror films of all time because it truly deserves better. Boogeyman 2 ditches the more supernatural elements of the first film and plays out more like a well-rounded 80s slasher film. The antagonist is now just portrayed as a normal person with a Halloween mask killing people, not some invincible ghost. Whether this is good or bad will depend on your usual tolerance for sequels. As I usually ‘endure’ straight-to-DVD sequels for the benefit of this web site, I was actually glad that it wasn’t just the same thing rehashed. But other people may be a little more annoyed that the tormentor of many a childhood (come on everyone used to worry a little bit about whatever lurked in your wardrobe or under the bed) has been turned from a supernatural vengeful force into a clichéd human killer with a troubled past.

For the benefit of this film, it works a lot better than a floating ghoul would have done. Without the unnecessary CGI, the film is able to focus a bit more on the kills, gore and set-up front. There’s plenty of gore on display and a lot of the deaths are inventive as the killer finished people off according to their phobias. It reminded me a lot of a poor man’s A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors, only without half of the atmosphere or creative talent. Unfortunately since we know the killer is human pretty early on in the film, you’re then forced to sit through the Scooby Doo-style unmasking at the end that I thought slasher films had finally abandoned. It’s one of those films where the killer is only ever going to be one obvious person and you’re just forced to sit back and watch as the characters try to work it out for themselves. Quite why no one will believe the heroine despite the body count rising is beyond me.

The characters are mainly good-looking twenty-somethings without an ounce of any life or soul in them. Simply sum up their phobia in a sentence and you’ll get a good idea of who each character is. In fact I think that’s the only introductions they get during the film so use your powers of observation to work out who fits into the slut, jock, nerdy, goth categories. Too much time is invested in the main character so the secondary characters are forced to fight over the scraps. In one lame moment, two characters argue about their relationship going sour. That’s all well and good and romantic and stuff, but given that they only had a handful of lines of dialogue up to that point, the scene just screamed “we’re only telling you this because we want you to like them before we kill them off.”

It’s up to Tobin Bell to try and salvage some respect and his acting ability and screen presence does significantly raise the bar every time he’s on screen. Unfortunately that’s nowhere near enough and every time he does appear, you can’t see him as any character apart from Jigsaw from the Saw films. That’s a typecasting legacy he’s going to have live with for the rest of his career. I kept expecting him to spout out some “do you want to play a game?” diatribe.

 

Boogeyman 2 is a reasonably entertaining slasher which should have just gone on its own and ditched the Boogeyman moniker because that will do it more harm than good. It’s not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but it delivers a hell of a lot more than you would have expected it to.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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