Movie Review: Does ‘The Boogeyman’ Live Up To the Hype?

September 12, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:


Often, blockbuster movies don’t live up to the hype, leaving viewers disappointed, especially regarding adaptations. Is that the case with the new horror film The Boogeyman? I can answer that.


Warning: Spoilers Ahead


Based on Stephen King’s short story, The Boogeyman, the movie centers on two families linked together by tragedy and an ancient dark entity that is out to kill them, the same monster that lurks in the darkness of children’s closets and under their beds.


The movie doesn’t waste any time, opening with a baby sleeping in her crib who suddenly wakes up screaming in terror as a monster emerges from her closet. We see blood splatter, and her crying stops. This sets the tone for the movie, which is brutal at times. Next, we are introduced to another family: a father (Chris Messina), a psychiatrist, and his two daughters, who are mourning, having just lost their mother. The youngest soon reveals that a monster is stalking her, and her teenage sister, Sadie (Sophie Thatcher), sets out to uncover the truth while trying to protect her little sister, Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair).


Throughout the film, the father completely ignores his kid’s suffering and pleads for help. For a shrink, he sucks. He should recognize that his kids are struggling from a mile away. Instead, he acts cold and brushes off his daughters’ fear and heartbreak. I found this both disappointing and obnoxious. I understand it is because he’s struggling himself. But he completely alienates his kids at a time when they need him the most. At the same time, this allows for the movie to also become a bit of a coming-of-age story for the oldest girl.


Sophie Thatcher, star of “Yeallowjackes,” gives a fantastic performance, capturing her character’s heartbreaking and terror-filled journey and the struggle to protect her family. Young actress Chris Messina was also fantastic, offering a performance beyond her years.


The Boogeyman itself, created with some serious CGI, looks pretty good, and I appreciate that we don’t get a real look at him until the end. He’s Tall, thin, and grotesque and right out of your nightmares.


As for the film’s story, it’s exciting and will keep you on your toes, giving scare after scare. It’s well-timed and written, and yes, while this is a monster movie, it is also much more. It is a story about a family filled with pain, heartbreak, and the distance that can be born out of tragedy.


Director Rob Savage and writers Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, and Mark Heyman did a great job of delivering a gripping movie that keeps you all up in your feelings. As someone who has lost a parent, I had no trouble empathizing with the girls and their pain, and after the movie ended, I was left reflecting on what I experienced with my own tragedy. A movie is supposed to make you think and feel something, and this one does.


At some point, nearly all of us feared the Boogeyman when we were a kid. That lingers with you throughout life, even if only in the back of your mind. I can almost guarantee that there has been a moment when you were sneaking a snack in the wee hours or coming up dark stairs, you had an irrational sense that something was watching, that you weren’t alone, and you damn near ran out of the room. Humans have feared things hiding in the shadows, in the dark, since they could gather a complete thought. It’s built into us, and this movie takes advantage of that fact in a great way.


Now, to answer the question, “Does it live up to the hype?” The answer is a big yes. It’s creepy, dark and emotional. If you’re looking for a movie with scares, this movie has them. And if you’re looking for a great story, The Boogeyman is a must-see. I’m giving it two big thumbs up. Luckily, you don’t have to wait to watch it. It’s now out on Digital and is coming home on Blu-ray on October 10, 2023.





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