Starring Tobin Bell, Renée O’Connor, Matt Cohen and Chrissy Griffith
Directed by Jeff Betancourt
There are no fears like the childhood fear of the boogeyman. It is the thing that lurks in the shadows of your closet, or lingers in the darkness under your bed; waiting, plotting, to begin a whispering approach to your pillowed head as soon as you’re bold enough to close your eyes and fall asleep. What a wonderful thing to make a scary movie about. What a perfectly creepy folklore myth to use to brew up some great atmospheric horror.
Relax, take a breath, and sleep easily and deeply. Boogeyman 2 isn’t about that monster.
Laura Potter (Savre) has suffered a lifelong fear of the boogeyman after witnessing the murder of her mother as a child. Fed up with her phobia, she checks herself into a mental health facility in order to confront her fears and try to find some therapeutic closure. Her fears, however, confront right back at her. Other patients in the hospital begin dying in brutal and bloody ways. Laura’s boogeyman has snuck into the hospital way past visiting hours and means to stay and slay all night long.
The other patients of the hospital are made up of a grab bag of assorted and varied phobias. There’s the girl who’s a cutter and likes slicing herself when bored; the clean freak who’s constantly at work disinfecting his room; the eating disorder victims; those with a fear of the dark. It’s like a swab of the American disturbed, all neatly arranged and lined up for inspection. This variation mostly serves the film in prompting the general theme of each character’s brutal murder. Many of the characters meet their demise in some twisted manner that plays directly upon their phobia.
This film is the sequel to the 2005 film, Boogeyman, however appears related in name only. Boogeyman 2 plays out somewhat like the giallos that slashers are inherently based upon. The expected atmospheric closet monster is missing, and in its place we have a brutal murderer playing on everyone’s fears (including, of course, our heroine’s fear of the boogeyman). The film becomes a sort of murderous who-dun-it as this monster is quite human and real. In standard giallo fashion, the film twists and double twists before revealing everything there is to know about the killer behind all the vicious, gory, and rather creative murders that Boogeyman 2 offers.
The film suffers in having too many things implausible, some lifeless and unsympathetic characters, and some rather exhausting chase sequences that seem to go on for way too long. It is implausible in simply how the hospital is set up, among other things. I realize all of the patients shown here are of legal age; however I just don’t believe any mental health facility is going to be coed to the point that the patients (all fairly attractive early 20-somethings) are allowed to fraternize in private in the wee hours of the evening. Every human being is particularly randy in their early 20’s, and crazy people can be randier than most. Random boinks in the night might not be all that congruent to achieving mental health in the disturbed, especially considering all of the emotional baggage that humps along for the ride. Just ask Billy Bibbit about it sometime. He’ll tell you.
The characters themselves are defined by their phobias, and their depth ends there. They are fairly lifeless textbook creations sprang out of some three sentence definition of their ailment. Similarly, they accept each others failures in an overly blasé manner. When cutter girl Alison (Whitman) is caught slicing her legs open in a blood pooled mess, those discovering her are happy to leave her where she is. After all, that’s normal behavior for the girl, why not?
The final suffering is some rather long chase sequences in the final third act of the film. We finally have the unveiling of the villain and the following flight of the heroine. It just goes on a bit long in the tooth considering watching two people run around in a hospital can get old pretty fast.
Boogeyman 2 is a rather textbook slasher with none of the atmospheric elements that might be implied by its name. This is a movie we’ve all seen before, and is now rehashed in yet another uninspired incarnation. It is currently planned to have a DVD release on January 8th of 2008. Fans of slashers might find the film cozy to rent on a slow Sunday afternoon. The rest of you may want to leave the film hiding in the closet.
2 out of 5