- Stephen Kay
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The story is rather hilarious, which doesn’t necessarily mean it had to go wrong. A kid is terrified by the Boogeyman, thanks to his dad, who told him that story. He thinks that monster is either under his bed or in the closet. The opening scene shows the kid scared to death by every shadow or silhouette he sees in his room, only to turn on the light and realize it was his clothes or his toys or anything else. Then someone approaches, scaring him even worse, but it turns out to be his dad, who tries to calm him down. To show him there’s no threat, he does what every dad would do: look under the bed and in the closet. But when he does the former, something awful happens: the Boogeyman comes out and drags the father in the closet, taking him away from good. Talk about trauma.
The kid grows up a scared mess, but he doesn’t go that nuts. He’s been convinced by shrinks that his dad left home and he made up the Boogeyman story to cope with it. As a young man, Tim (Barry Watson) leads a normal life, is successful enough, and has a gorgeous girlfriend, Jessica (Tory Mussett). However, he has a paralyzing fear: that of closets. Every time he has to open a closet door, he gets as scared as an electrified hamster. The first scene showing this fear is affecting enough… that is, until Jessica comes in and opens the closet door and ridicules him, asking if he’s gonna go weird on her again. So he does this every time, we think. Yep. That’s what the movie is about: fear of closet doors. No actual threat, no horror inside the closet. Just the fear. No kicks, no pay-offs, no nothing; just a guy shaking and sweating every time he has to open a door, eventually not limited to that of a closet.
Sure, it eventually gets somewhere, and when it does it’s interesting, but much too late, and never quite intelligently. After an hour of dull procedures where nothing happens and eventual scares don’t work, they try to mess with time-bending/space-twisting alternate dimensions that prove that this guy doesn’t suffer from schizophrenia, sort of. And even though it’s a relief since everything that preceded it was a complete bore, it doesn’t go anywhere either, it’s not as interesting as it could be, and it’s not clear in the least. You never quite get the picture of what really happened, or what can explain the goings-on. It’s all ludicrous.
The performances are stiff and lifeless, including that of Emily Deschanel as Tim’s childhood friend who helps him in his renewed quest. Only Skye McCole Bartusiak, as a child haunted by the Boogeyman, leaves an impression.
Awful! But not in the scary way.
“What happens when you get to six?”
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