Stars: Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, Vivian Lyra Blair, David Dastmalchian
The Hollywood debut of British director Savage, is a competent and occasionally atmospheric, but undistinguished adaptation of a minor Stephen King short story.
High school student Sadie (Thatcher) and her younger sister Sawyer (Blair) are still grieving over their mother. Their father, therapist Will (Messina) is unreceptive and struggling to hold things together himself. Then a visit to his office from a deeply disturbed father Lester (Dastmalchian), who lost both of his children in horrifying circumstances, sets off a series of supernatural events which suggest young Sadie’s fear of the dark may not be unfounded.
Savage, who helmed effective low-budget shockers ‘Host’ and ‘Dashcam’, is initially able to invest the generic proceedings with a disturbingly drab and resigned quality, redolent of the lo-fi bad buzz that permeated ‘Ringu’, but ultimately the lack of focus means the picture’s themes of grief and loss are not really explored in an engaging manner. Production values at are impressive with the stygian lighting and unsettling echoing whispery sound design. All too often, alas, the script relies on characters being dumb as they step into that dank foreboding cellar without turning on a light. And when the titular character is manifested, it is disappointingly generic in appearance.
The Boogeyman is released on 2nd June
Follow David on @DWill_Crackfilm