Boogeyman probably wouldn’t scare me too much these days but to sheltered thirteen year old Nate in iMax back then this was fucking traumatizing. I haven’t seen it since and I might keep it that way because the raw nostalgia still kicks in whenever I see the poster in a streaming queue or the DVD in stores and I feel like if I revisited now, that magic would dissipate quickly.

So obviously the Boogeyman is real here and has chosen to terrorize a family seemingly at random, scarring a young boy for life by snatching his father away in the middle of the night in a chilling prologue. Flash forward years later and the boy grows up into a man played by onetime heartthrob Barry Watson, who I only remember from this and Ocean’s Eleven where he’s playing poker with Topher Grace and Brad Pitt. He decides to visit the old town and dilapidated house he grew up in to confront his fears and prove that it was all in his head, but of course it wasn’t and the boogeyman comes roaring back into his life to create all kinds of fresh hell.

I enjoyed the lack of backstory and explanation for this thing… he’s not some vengeful ghost with an origin montage in the third act, they just never even bother to say anything more than he’s simply a boogeyman thing, and there’s both power and potency in that. There are numerous effective jump scares from what I remember and some welcome turns from genre regulars Lucy Lawless, Emily Deschanel and Skye McCole Bartusiak. Like I said it’s been so long since I saw this, I only saw it once but let me tell you at that age it fucked me right up. Such would most likely not be the case now but oh well. I’ll hold onto the memory I have of seeing it theatrically.

-Nate Hill

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