The Boogeyman (2023) Film Review: A Spine-Chilling Horror

Movie Bunker Score:

The Boogeyman: A Generic Horror Flick That Fails to Deliver

The Boogeyman, based on a short story by Stephen King, was highly anticipated when it was announced that it would be adapted into a film. With Rob Savage, the director of the terrifying 2020 horror film Host, at the helm, expectations were high. However, The Boogeyman ultimately falls short, lacking in scares, ineffective jump scares, and a disappointing monster design.

Promising Beginnings and Suspense Building

The first thirty minutes of The Boogeyman show promise, as Rob Savage demonstrates his skill in suspense building. The opening scene, with its less-is-more approach and well-executed sound effects, immediately grabs the audience’s attention. However, the film struggles to maintain this level of excellence throughout.

An Ensemble Cast with Great Performances

The Boogeyman features a talented ensemble cast, with David Dastmalchian delivering a brilliant performance as Lester, a grieving father who has lost another child. Dastmalchian’s brief appearance in the film is a disappointment, as his talent often goes underappreciated in minor roles. Chris Messina portrays Will, the therapist supporting Lester, and his portrayal is solid.

The grieving daughters, Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair), give standout performances. Sadie’s response to her mother’s passing is particularly poignant, as she finds solace in wearing her mother’s clothes. Thatcher’s portrayal effectively conveys Sadie’s emotional journey. Similarly, Blair skillfully portrays Sawyer’s crippling fear, and the chemistry between the two actresses as siblings feels authentic.

A Lackluster Monster Design

While the atmospheric setting of The Boogeyman successfully builds tension, the ultimate reveal of the monster is underwhelming. The creature’s design is amateurish and fails to evoke any genuine fear. This disappointment is further exacerbated by the inclusion of jump scares that lack impact. The film’s best moments occur before the monster appears, leaving room for the audience’s imagination to create more terror.

An Overused Grief Subplot

The Boogeyman incorporates a grief subplot, allowing the actors to explore their performances. While it adds depth to the characters, this storyline has been explored numerous times before, lacking originality. The film’s failure to make the boogeyman itself the most intriguing aspect is a significant flaw since it should be the central focus of the story.


The Boogeyman ultimately disappoints as a generic horror flick that fails to deliver genuine scares. Despite promising beginnings and strong performances from the ensemble cast, the film falls short with its ineffective jump scares and lackluster monster design. The overused grief subplot lacks originality, and the film’s open-ended conclusion hints at the possibility of a sequel, which we hope will improve upon the shortcomings of its predecessor.


1. Is The Boogeyman based on a Stephen King short story?

Yes, The Boogeyman is based on a short story by Stephen King.

2. Who directed The Boogeyman?

The Boogeyman was directed by Rob Savage, known for his work in the horror genre, including the critically acclaimed film Host.

3. Does The Boogeyman have an open-ended conclusion?

Yes, The Boogeyman concludes with an open-ended ending, suggesting the possibility of a sequel.

4. How does the monster design in The Boogeyman compare to audience expectations?

Audience expectations for the monster design in The Boogeyman were not met, as it was considered underwhelming and amateurish.

5. Are there effective jump scares in The Boogeyman?

No, The Boogeyman falls short in delivering impactful jump scares, which contributes to its lack of genuine scares and suspense.