You know you have a problem when the opening scene is the most well-crafted scene in the film and it almost spells out who the killer is for those of you with your brain in second gear. There is no mystery here. It’s just another entry in the “torture porn” genre trying to disguise itself as a psychological thriller.
Haunted by her brutal past memories, Laura now has a long-term fear of the Boogeyman. After the death of her parents at the age of eight, Laura hasn’t been able to shake off the idea that the Boogeyman was responsible for her parent’s death. Convinced she saw it happen, she still has visions of the Boogeyman (who supposedly lives on fear) a decade later and voluntarily checks herself into a mental facility crowded with phobia-induced patients. A seemingly perfect feeding zone for the Boogeyman.
Although I didn’t care for the first one, I could admire its spooky atmosphere and its creepy tone. It never solely relied on blood spatter or decapitation for thrills (which isn’t a bad thing when done right). Don’t get me wrong, I like my horror movies gory. However, a stylish atmosphere is what makes horror movies surreal and Boogeyman 2 bypasses any attempts at conjuring a sleek atmosphere. It substitutes ambiance with gore and the result is, unfortunately, less frightening and less original than the first.
While the acting was pretty convincing (with the exception of a couple of one-dimensional characters), the screaming wasn’t. It is almost as if these actors were intended to be in a drama and were inadvertently placed in a DTV horror sequel. Tobin Bell (most known for his satanic role in the Saw franchise) rarely appears in the film and is obviously just there to leak star power, a cheap way of attracting audiences familiar to his work.
First-time director Jeff Betancourt has a talent, and it shows spontaneously every now and then. But the material here is a poor choice for a debut director to exert his or her talents. I feel Betancourt would’ve done more justice to a B-grade horror flick, possibly gaining a cult status in this manner. Who knows, it might have been his ticket to fame. Adding injury to pain is debut screenwriter Brian Sieve, a strong believer in unwanted sequels. The fact that he believes that the original Boogeyman was worthy of a trilogy is proof of the previous statement. That’s right, we have a Boogeyman 3 in the works. It is obvious that Sieve is empty and has no originality up his sleeve.
When will Hollywood ever come up with something new to include in this vapid genre? It seems as though nearly every first-time screenwriter is turning to sequels and prequels as an attempt at making something worthy. Audiences are in dire need of something different, something unique, and Boogeyman 2 is far from this need.
The DVDs special features (if any are interested) include widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film, commentary with Betancourt and Sieve, commentary with Bell and Danielle Savre and producers Gary Bryman and Steve Hein, and a featurette on the makeup effects from storyboard to screen. 1.5/5 stars