Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Lucy Lawless, Tory Mussett and Philip Gordon

Stephen T. Kay

Running Time:
86 mins

Out to buy on DVD 04/07/05

"Count to Five"

Fifteen years ago, Tim Jensen (Watson) was told a story about the man who lived in your closet and who get you when lights went out. Terrified to go to sleep, his dad came into show him that everything was safe, only to be taken before his very eyes. Now grown up, Tim was still gripped by fear but on hearing about the death of his mother, he realises he has to return to the house were it all started.

After starting well with the remake of 'The Grudge', Sam Raimi's production company 'Ghost House Pictures' second picture is an original fright fest but does it have what it takes to produce some genuine scares? Definitely not!

Hopes where high when Sam Raimi started his own film company to specialise in horror but after this effort you might start thinking it is going down the same route as Robert Zemeckis's Dark Castle Entertainment buy producing unoriginal, mundane horror movies. This is horror on its most basic level, providing the most basic scares and delivering a pay off that is extremely predictable and just plain lame.

By trying to utilise different camera techniques, quick focus, erratic movements and fast cuts, director Stephen T. Kay, wants to create as many jumps as he can but he just doesn't have the still or vision of the current leaders in the field, Asian cinema. For a film that is supposed to be running on tension, the level is high in the beginning but then plunges to an all time low when it comes to the completely awful finale.

The main problem with the movie is the pacing. It is just far too slow and this just dissipates any tension that has been built up in the pre-credit sequence. The film plods along, offering the odd jump but as the movie builds to its inevitable climate, everything becomes far too clichéd and repetitive. How many times do we have to have Tim looking scared while looking at a closet door?

The climatic reveal of the Boogeyman himself is the biggest let down. Originality is thrown totally out of the window and, as with many Hollywood horror flicks, they do not reveal the origins or reasoning behind his actions. What drives him to torment little children? Where does he come from? How did he get his powers? These questions are unanswered and this will frustrate most horror fans.

'Boogeyman' is an example of Hollywood doing horror extremely badly. With no real creativity or originality, this is a like and instruction manual on what not to do. By trying to imitate the Japanese style but combining it with the traditional tinsel town monster, the filmmakers have created something that just doesn't work and creates no tension, suspense or real horror. You'd be right in expecting more from Sam Raimi's production company.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the movie is presented very well.


Cast and Crew Interviews Evolution of the Horror film (14.55 mins)
Director Stephen Kay, producer Rob Tapert and stars Barry Watson, Lucy Lawless, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Tory Tusset and Emily Deschanel talk about bringing 'Boogeyman' to the silver screen. The cast and crew reveal the influences behind the movie, looking at the Japanese approach to the genre. They also look at night terror experiences and explain what they think the Boogeyman actually is.

Crew, Characters and Cast (19.35 mins)
Director Stephen Kay, producer Rob Tapert and stars Barry Watson, Lucy Lawless, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Tory Tusset and Emily Deschanel talk about the technical aspects and characters of the movie. Here we are taken behind the scenes of the film making process, highlighting the look and feel of the piece and the influences behind the aesthetics. The featurette also looks that the characters Tim, Jessica, Kate, Franny and Tim's mother, as each actor and actress discusses their roles.

Deleted Scenes (15.52 mins)
Entitled 'Alternative Ending', 'Trying to rescue Dad', 'Tim strapping himself into a chair', 'Owner of the backpack', 'Bedroom flashback & dead cat', 'Park & Street scene', 'Photocopy room and Jessica in the office', these deleted or alternative scenes suffer from a lack of commentary or introduction to inform you why they were cut.

Storyboards (9.15 mins)
Watch the animated storyboards for 'Opening', 'Missing Children' and the 'Alternative Ending'. These transition from the actual film into the animated storyboard, letting you put them into the context of the film.

Visual Effects Progression (4.26 mins)
Watch the how the visual effects were created for the 'bathroom', 'final confrontation' and 'the battle' sequence' at various stages of completion.


Even though this is a completely awful horror movie, the DVD transfer is good. Despite the lack of a commentary track (probably due to embarrassment), the rest of the extras are very watchable, even when you hear producer Rob Tapert comparing the film to 'Evil Dead'. Fans of the film will be very happy.


Darkness Falls

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