HCA Gradebook: “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”June 7, 2023
HCA Gradebook: “Past Lives”June 9, 2023
Movie: The Boogeyman
Plot: High school student Sadie Harper and her younger sister Sawyer are reeling from the recent death of their mother and aren’t getting much support from their father, Will, a therapist who is dealing with his own pain. When a desperate patient unexpectedly shows up at their home seeking help, he leaves behind a terrifying supernatural entity that preys on families and feeds on the suffering of its victims.
Cast: Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, Vivien Lyra Blair, Marin Ireland, Madison Hu, LisaGay Hamilton, and David Dastmalchian.
Director: Rob Savage
Release Date: June 9, 2023
Studio: 20th Century Studios
Number of Graders: 19
Overall Grade: B-
Tessa Smith says, “The Boogeyman is destined to become an immediate hit in the horror genre. Put aside the worry about the PG-13 rating and know that this movie was pushed as far as it could, oftentimes feeling like an R rated film. It is not just scary, though, it also tells an intriguing story that will have viewers interested while simultaneously watching between their fingers. It’s the perfect blend of jump scares and tense moments, with the creature work causing it to be unforgettable.”
Ashley Saunders says, “The Boogeyman is a chilling, suspense-filled scarefest that does justice to the source material. It takes the foundation of the short story and builds upon it to create a tale that captures the terrifying essence that King’s work exudes. This tale of overcoming trauma and the monsters will delight fans of the genre as they become more and more unnerved as the film plays out. It is PG-13 horror done right, balancing the tense scenes with well-earned jump scares. Those scares in fact are likely to have many wanting to remove closet doors and sleep with a nightlight or five.”
Zofia Wijaszka says, “While The Boogeyman may not invent anything new, Savage’s new film has a strong chance of being an instant summer horror hit. With its rich narrative and immediate action, Thatcher and Blair will both remind you of your innermost anxieties and positively daze you with their talent.”
Jeff Ewing says, “The Boogeyman isn’t entirely new, but it boasts some quality scares and excellent performances. There are logic problems and a curious lack of turning on a light switch, but it’s a fun King outing.”
Kit Stone says, “Dear Rob Savage, I’ll be removing all the doors from my closet now. The Boogeyman was a fun time. Sophie Thatcher and Vivien Lyra Blair were excellent. I’m not easily frightened, but there were several well-executed jump scares and eerie moments.”
Wendy Lee Szany says, “A great way to expand the short story by Stephen King. This is the kind of movie that’ll stay with you days after, especially if you’re passing by a dark room or coming home to a dark apartment. Great performance by Sophie Thatcher and Vivien Lyra Blair.”
Abbie Bernstein says, “The Boogeyman gets points for finding a way to stay true to itself and still honor King’s climax, essentially splitting the difference between the two. The movie doesn’t break any barriers, but it is respectably frightening and entertaining.”
Nate Adams says, “Based on the 1973 Stephen King short story, Rob Savage’s The Boogeyman takes major leaps from the source material in expanding the scope of the narrative, which helps provide a spooky, if contrived, good time at the movies. The OG King inspiration was essentially a recollection told through a deranged man’s confession to his therapist. That doesn’t exactly scream mid-budget horror thriller, but writers Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, and Mark Heyman uphold King’s tone and produce a stylish creature feature with enough emotional heft to fill the big screen. Something that wasn’t a given considering the movie was originally slated for a streaming release before test audiences resonated with the movie’s themes and principles. On a certain level, I did too.”
Nestor Bentancor says, “Anchored by great performances and execution, the atmospheric Stephen King adaptation is a mature tale of family drama and tragic loss, peppered with effective scares.”
Sean Chandler says, “A slightly better than average haunted house movie. The setup is familiar, but it’s slightly elevated by some fantastic use of sound and lighting. While by no means a top tier horror film, it has moments which stand out as really well done.”
Aaron Neuwirth says, “Even with a lack of more distinctive details, there’s enough working in this film’s favor to allow the audience to pay attention when things go bump in the night.”
Zachary Pope says, “Man I wanted to love The Boogeyman but walked away pretty disappointed. The Creature design is awesome, Sophia Thatcher is incredible in this, Vivien Lyra Blair showcases her incredible charm, but the rest? You’ve seen it all before.. and sadly didn’t click for me.”
Jonathan Fujii says, “A movie that starts off well but spends the second half spinning its wheels, repeating the same story beats. Performances are solid and I appreciate the short runtime but this did nothing for me.”
Scott Menzel says, “Rob Savage knows how to build tension in The Boogeyman but sadly, the story is way too generic. Sophie Thatcher does her best to elevate the material and gives a committed performance. Chris Messina is good yet underused. The Boogeyman isn’t bad but with a new horror movie being released pretty much every week either in theaters or on a streaming platform, the film does very little to standout in the sea of other horror films.
Kevin Taft says, “I wanted to love this movie as it’s right up my alley, and the Boogeyman mythology has always been scary. Not to mention, Savage’s Host is one of the better horror movies to come out in recent years. Here, he truly creates some intense and frightening sequences. However, this film also has a well-produced, generic feel that needed a script that didn’t betray its rules and gave us a little more of a reason for the Boogeyman to exist in the first place. Not quite bad, but leaves a lot to be desired.”
Rama Tampubolon says, “The Boogeyman was not all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, the set-ups and the jumpscares were formulaic and predictable. It started out promising, when it was all about who’s behind the closet door, spooky and creepy and chilling.
But what began as a psychological horror eventually turned into a run of the mill action creature slash monster movie. And I would’ve liked it more if The Boogeyman had remained a psychological horror.”
Francisco Cangiano says, “Starts off strong with its creepy exploration of trauma and grief, but then turns away to do more of the same, generic modern horror exercises.”
Mike Manalo says, “When horror bucks clichés, it can transcend the genre, or at least satisfy viewers. On the other hand, when it leans so incredibly heavily into every bad trope we’ve seen before, it bores rather than thrills. Such is the case of The Boogeyman. When your movie is essentially just rip-off after rip-off of the same things we’ve seen in better movies, the comparisons are inevitable. Will this scare some folks out there? I’m sure it will. But I just found myself bored by its predictability and blandness.”
James White says, “The Boogeyman is a horrific waste of a promising director and a game cast. Neither genre-changing nor particularly scary, it’s a mystery how this has been garnering such positive buzz. Even some artistry from filmmaker Rob Savage can’t save what is a barebones script littered with tropes and generic turns. And when logic takes a leap out of the nearest window, it just makes the whole endeavor even more laughable.”