In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Horror Movie Guide: The Boogeyman

The next title in the Guide is one of the more infamous and possibly surprising I'd never seen up until this point; Ulli Lommel's The Boogeyman. I mean, I was aware of the coverbox of this and its 1982 sequel to be sure, but I guess it just slipped through the cracks for two reasons. First, there was the dull-as-dirt 2005 version that I probably incorrectly assumed was a remake, and second my actual introduction to Lommel was through his shit parade of direct-to-video serial killer flicks in the mid 2000s. Neither of these occurrences incentivized me to check out the original 1980 one until now...

A brother and sister's (real life siblings Nicholas & Suzanna Love) traumatic event in their childhood comes back to haunt them through a cursed mirror. That's the best I got...

I struggled to come up with a place to start on this one because I have so many questions. Does every house in New England have those Amityville windows? What is the purpose of the brother in this story? Which one of the filmmakers had a thing for pantyhose?

Suzanna & Nic Love as Lacey & Willy in The Boogeyman.

Paramount among my queries while watching The Boogeyman though was how was this not an Italian production? Even without the tremendous score by Tim Korg (which truth be told is the best thing about this movie), you also have the inherent incoherence of the story. I mean, what are the rules here? Lommel must have been subscribing to Argento's "things just are." credo here. Apart from that, it seemed like he was mashing up The Exorcist and Amitville Horror, with a dash of proto Final Destination

What you get is something that feels long, even at eighty minutes, padded out by scenes with low budget royalty John Barrymore - who they likely had for a day - and the glowering of the aforementioned superfluous brother character.

At the end of the day, it's a somewhat entertaining watch, but there are other films of this ilk that offer way more bang for your buck (1982's Superstition for instance), but I can't deny that I did see its influence. The last scene in the kitchen did remind me of a similar sequence in 1983's Blood Beat. Lommel also was able to carve out a prolific career for himself, working regularly all the way up until his death in 2017. Not many maestros can say that. The Guide was surprisingly generous with this movie.

I find it weird they would praise the colour lighting as if this wasn't something the Italians hadn't been doing since the mid sixties. Oh well, I'm at least glad I was able to finally cross this one of the list.

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