Boogeyman 3 (2008)

Boogeyman 3 (2008)

She left for college and terror followed

Psychology student Sarah witnesses the alleged suicide of her roommate, Audrey, but after reading through some books that Audrey’s late father left her, she believes that she was actually murdered by the Boogeyman. Sarah has impossible task in trying to get everyone to believe her as they think she’s still suffering from her own mother’s suicide. But as her friends begin to die in mysterious ways, Sarah realises that she alone must stop the Boogeyman.

 

Straight-to-DVD horror sequels are the norm now as studios attempt to milk every last penny from ‘named’ franchises. Wrong Turn, Anaconda and The Grudge are to name a few big budget films which have spawned, well franchises on the straight-to-DVD market. Following the rules of ever-diminishing creativity and budgets, these films usually recycle the same plot over and over again with a new cast and crew and less favourable reviews. Bizarrely enough, the Boogeyman series must be the only franchise which seems to get better with every entry. I loathe the original Boogeyman and proclaimed that it was everything wrong with modern horror when it was released. The first sequel, the imaginatively-titled Boogeyman 2, turned into more of a slasher film which lacked originality but was still entertaining enough in its own right. Now we have the even more imaginatively-titled Boogeyman 3 (when do we get the semi-colons and sub-title?) which despite trying to milk as much out of the Boogeyman name as it can, is even better than the last one.

I can’t really explain why this series has suddenly found itself on DVD. Maybe it’s because the producers can up the stakes a little bit. The original was a tame, feeble affair with a lower age rating, theoretically meaning more cash in the till (the film actually has to be good for people to go and see it though!). On DVD, there are fewer boundaries. The producers, directors and writers are now able to pander to the horror market and up the ante with blood and gore and get away with it. There’s little in the way of style or substance in this sequel. It’s by-the-numbers to the tee.

Boogeyman 3 isn’t going to be the worst film you’re likely to see: it’s just not memorable in the slightest. You’ll have seen the exact set-up in dozens of other films. This second sequel sees a return to the more supernatural elements of the first film but it’s almost a re-run of the same events of the first sequel. Instead of a mental asylum, this time it’s a college dorm. Since the majority of the film is shot here, you’d almost think that the characters were permanently locked in the building. The bland corridors, the sparse bedrooms and the general lack of people walking around makes it look like the least fun college dorm you’d ever want to live in.

It’s the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors set-up that the first sequel used, filled with the usual gang of caricatures including stoners, bimbos, etc. The characters may be groan-inducing but at least some of the cast are appealing and likeable, specifically Erin Cahill in the lead role. Not only is she cute but she’s easy to root for so immediately we have a connection with what is going on.

The Boogeyman doesn’t look scary in the slightest. He’s your average Goth-looking dude with long hair who likes popping out of closets. The flesh-and-blood approach instead of a CGI creature gives him more of a physical presence but ultimately makes him look more human and less scary. His back story isn’t fleshed out very well and characters mention his name a lot but little is eventually revealed. It’s ironic then that this second sequel is the only film of the three to really focus on the Boogeyman as the main villain. He gets a lot of screen time (inevitable in any sequel) and is made out to be quite a threat to the characters. The film backs this up with a decent body count. There’s enough creativity in the death scenes with victims being crammed into small trunks and an effective demise involving a washing machine and the laundry room. The deaths get crazier and more off-beat as the film goes on. There’s a ton of blood on show here, mainly during the aforementioned laundry room scene but it’s mainly CGI which is a big shame and the effects let down the film on more than one occasion.

 

Boogeyman 3 is another reasonable sequel which improves on it’s predecessors to deliver some cheap scares and blood. I can’t really recommend it because it’s so formulaic and predictable but it’s competently made and is the best of the series to date. If they keep going at this rate of progress, the tenth sequel may get full marks.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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