Friday, June 7, 2013

The Cinema File #195: "The Boogeyman" Review

Syfy Channel Original Movies don't always move at the same pace. Sometimes they're good from beginning to end, other times they never seem to get going, and sometimes they start off slow and take a while to get good. Today's installment is the latter case, with an initially somewhat lackluster unseen killer that I couldn't care less about until we finally learn what it is in the third act, at which point the movie finally comes together into something worth watching. That being said, once this revelation comes, you're forced to accept that all this time you've been watching a movie called The Boogeyman, in which the creature that hides in closets and under beds doesn't actually have anything to do with said creature, and if it had, it would have been a lot better.

The Boogeyman follows Warehouse 13's Eddie McClintock playing basically the same character, except here as a small town sheriff tracking an undead serial killer with razor sharp claws. The first half is typical slasher movie stuff, and I was just about to write off the movie until about the half way mark, when the previously elusive monster comes out in full force, revealing a stubborn inability to die and a curse that presents some genuinely interesting wrinkles for the characters. I could have done without the heavy handed religious overtones, but other than that, consider this one Syfy flick that pulls it out in the end.

The basic twist is that, as I mentioned, the monster can't be killed, but can be contained by a human branded with its symbol, forcing a long line of human caretakers to keep watch over it and feed its insatiable appetite. When the line is interrupted, the monster is loose and seeks out a replacement out of instinct, killing anyone who gets in its way. The problem is the movie takes so long to get to this twist and spends most of its time just filling out the story with mindless murders it doesn't have the budget or creativity to make look good enough to justify so much emphasis on them. 

The monster looks pretty good, basically a walking zombie but with a will and intelligence that effects its bearing and gives it a little more personality. Not much, but enough that I wasn't bored with it. The resolution to the problem of who will take the reins of the beast is predictable, but not without its charm, and it almost seems to set up the film for a sequel that will no doubt never come. I'd watch if it did, and in retrospect, I think the situation it presents probably would have made for a more interesting story than the one we actually got.

The stupid line of the week goes to a prisoner who insists on getting ketchup for his dinner. When he is sprayed by the blood of a prison guard whose neck was tied to the cell, such that when it was opened he gets decapitated, the prisoner is sprayed with blood and exclaims, “I asked for ketchup, they gave me ketchup!” It seems to imply that he's gone insane, going on and on about ketchup like he's hit the ketchup goldmine, but then in a scene a few minutes later, he seems perfectly fine. Overall, Boogeyman is worth a watch, certainly more so than something like Flying Monkeys at least. It has its flaws, but if you're able to tolerate this canon of films at all, this one shouldn't be a hard slog, and there's enough here to make it fun. 
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