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Boogeyman 3 (2008)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 1/20/2009

All Ratings out of
Extras: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/19/2009

We've all heard the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me." I wouldn't look like a very professional critic if I were to trot out that chestnut for a movie that I didn't like. But, what if I were fooled for the third time? Would that be justified? The trailer for 2005's Boogeyman made the film look very promising and it came from Sam Raimi's production company, but it turned out to be a disappointment, despite some interesting ideas and visuals. Boogeyman 2 was an anemic mess which felt like exactly what it was, a cheap quickie sequel. Now, we have Boogeyman 3. Will it be that rare sequel which can overcome its roots and surprise us?

Boogeyman 3 opens with Audrey Allen (Nikki Sanderson) mourning the loss of her father, Dr. Mitchell Allen (Tobin Bell) (the psychiatrist from Boogeyman 2). She reads his journal, which gives details about the Boogeyman, and she is subsequently attacked. The action (?!) then shifts to a college campus. Sarah (Erin Cahill) is a psychology major and she runs a call-in radio show with Professor Kane (Matt Rippy). She is surprised when her friend Audrey suddenly appears, disheveled and frightened. Audrey tells Sarah about the Boogeyman, but Sarah doesn't believe her. However, things change when Audrey is attacked in the dormitory. From there, Sarah begins to see the Boogeyman, and she has visions of her friends dying. Is the Boogeyman stalking her, or is this related to the fact that Sarah never got over her mother's suicide. As her friends begin to disappear, and rumors of Boogeyman attacks begin to spread, Sarah begins to realize that everyone may be in danger.

My first thought upon finishing Boogeyman 3 was that it looked like a Sci-Fi Channel movie. This feeling was explained when I saw that the movie was directed by Gary Jones, who helmed Mosquito, Spiders, Crocodile 2: Death Swamp, and Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter's Cove. Come to think of it, comparing Boogeyman 3 to a Sci-Fi Channel movie may be an insult to Sci-Fi Channel movies.

Looking back at Boogeyman 2, I accused that movie of simply being a rip-off of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Well, it was, but Boogeyman 3 comes even closer. Boogeyman 2 may have used the mental hospital setting from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, but Boogeyman 3 feels even more similar to that Freddy Krueger classic, as we have a diverse group of young people who are living in one location (the dorm) and who are being hunted by a supernatural killer who gets them when they are alone and vulnerable. At the center of all of this is a young woman with a troubled past who is convinced that she's going crazy.

When a movie like this feels "borrowed", it all comes down to the villain, and the Boogeyman simply doesn't cut it. He looks like that tall guy who played guitar for Nine Inch Nails for a while in the early 90s, crossed with someone who is single-handedly trying to bring back the "wet look". So, what we get is a an overly goth dude with stringy long hair who suddenly lurches out of closets. It was like watching, "What's the worst thing which could happen at Hot Topic?" Not only does the Boogeyman not look scary, but there's no attempt to give him a backstory or a personality. He's simply "the Boogeyman", the guy who lives in closets and under beds waiting to attack people. The odd thing is that the second half of the film goes on and on about the Boogeyman legend...but it never elaborates on what that is.

The banality of the Boogeyman is never overshadowed by the generic cast and bland locations. The characters here fit the stereotypes found in any college movie and the Bulgarian locations leave much to be desired. But, what does oen expect from a movie where the name of the college changes throughout the film. The sad thing is that a movie about the Boogeyman could be really good, but despite an interesting twist at the end, this one is lame from the get go. Go ahead and look under your bed -- it will be more exciting than this movie.

Boogeyman 3 wanders out of the closet and onto DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source material. The colors are good, and the image is never overly dark or bright. However, the overall appearance is a soft one and the image lacks a great deal of detail. The DVD contains a Dolby Digital 5.0 audio track (yes, 5.0) which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are good, and the movie makes good use of accenting audio from off-screen. The surround sound is very good, and it really comes into play when the Boogeyman attacks. The lack of a subwoofer channel is very obvious though.

The Boogeyman 3 DVD contains several extras. The DVD contains 2 DELETED SCENES which run about 2 minutes. Both are very breif, but the second is actually interesting and would have filled a small gap in the movie. "Creating the Boogeyman" (6 minutes) examines the design of the monster from the movie. This includes behind-the-scenes footage of the special effects make-up being applied and the "Boogeyman" getting direction. "Boogey in Bulgaria" (6 minutes) is an oddly windowboxed segment which shows the locations and sites used in Sofia, Bulgaria. Director Gary Jones and the cast talk about Bulgaria itself and what it was like working there. (There was a challenge in getting props which looked American.) "Deconstructing the Deaths" (6 minutes) examines the practical and make-up effects which went into some of the death scenes. This is populated with a great deal of on-set footage.

Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long