Boogeyman 2

Rating 1½

Directed by Jeff Betancourt

Written by Brian Sieve, based on characters created by Eric Kripke

Starring Danielle Savre, Matthew Cohen, Tobin Bell, Renée O’Connor, Chrissy Griffith, Mae Whitman, Michael Graziadei, Johnny Simmons, David Gallagher, Lesli Margherita and Tom Lenk

When sister and brother, Laura and Henry Porter (Danielle Savre and Matthew Cohen), are children they witness the brutal murders of their parents. Ten years later, Henry undergoes a course of locked-down residential experimental therapy to overcome his fear of the boogeyman, conducted by Dr Jessica Ryan (Renée O’Connor, from ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’) and her senior colleague Dr Mitchell Allen (horror stalwart Tobin Bell).

When Henry leaves the hospital and makes plans to move across country to start a new job, his younger sister’s own fears begin to manifest, and she agrees to enter the programme. The other inmates at the facility are all young people suffering from a variety of phobias and psychiatric disorders. When they begin to be murdered in gruesome fashion, Laura is convinced it is the work of the boogeyman.

‘Boogeyman 2’ is a direct-to-DVD horror film from Ghost House Pictures, the production company set up by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert to make low-budget horror films, starting in 2004 with the box office hit ‘The Grudge’. Jeff Betancourt, the director of ‘Boogeyman 2’, was the film editor on ‘The Grudge’ and its sequel. The first ‘Boogeyman’ film, also a product of Ghost House Pictures, was released into cinemas in 2005. It had a worldwide box office gross a little over $67 million.

The only thing of note the sequel shares with its predecessor is its lead characters’ fear of the boogeyman. There is otherwise no real connection between the two films. ‘Boogeyman 2’ is a composite of clichés from many other horror films and it is probably possible to name any number of films it resembles. Two that immediately came to my mind are ‘Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed’ and ‘Darkness Falls’, although it does not possess the quality of the former or the likeability of the latter.

Cheap, clichéd, direct-to-DVD horror films are hardly a rarity. Clearly there is a big market for them, or at least that is what the constant churning out of such films would indicate. ‘Boogeyman 2’ is well made, but there is nothing remotely original or appealing about it. I found it all unnecessarily and tediously gory, although that might be the one thing its real target audience would have thought made it worth watching. We also get some gratuitous bare breasts for the boys.

I didn’t like it very much. The story was far too predictable, even for a film of this type, and the gore was boring and unpleasant. I would not rush to watch it again.

Is there any point to a film like ‘Boogeyman 2’? There clearly must be an audience for it – and Ghost House has subsequently announced a third film. It provides work for the people involved in making the film, which I think is reason enough for it to exist.

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