Friday 10 October 2014

Boogeyman 2 (2007)

I can't, in all honesty, say that Boogeyman 2 is a GREAT horror movie. But I can easily say that it's quite a step up from the first movie. In fact, apart from one main connection, you could happily avoid the painful experience of watching the first film and just skip straight to this one.

Danielle Savre plays Laura Porter, a young woman who decides to check into the mental health facility that seemed to do so much good for her brother (Henry, played by Matt Cohen). Laura and Henry were scarred many years ago by a traumatic night that led to the loss of their parents. As Matt heads off to start rebuilding his adult life, Laura puts herself in the hands of Dr. Jessica Ryan (Renee O'Connor) and Dr. Mitchell Allen (Tobin Bell). Unfortunately, it's not long until a number of her fellow patients start dying, and in ways that seem tied to their deepest fears. Is the boogeyman real, or have one of the doctors decided to try more radical methods of treatment?

While the script by Brian Sieve is simply competent, and the direction by Jeff Betancourt is perfectly fine, Boogeyman 2 actually manages to impress with one or two moments of real nastiness. The dressing may be standard, sanitised stuff, but the death scenes here are sometimes wince-inducingly painful, which is all the more surprising considering the blandness of some other aspects of the film. The supporting characters are a mixed bad, and it's hard to care for most of them, the facility always feels like a horror movie set as opposed to a real building (like, for example, those many horror movie hospitals that never have more than one or two staff working in them at night), and the final act revelations will neither surprise nor impress full-time horror fans.

Savre is fine in the lead role, I guess, but it's the supporting cast that provides more fun for movie fans. The appearance of Bell, of course, immediately makes him a prime suspect (due to his prominent role in the Saw franchise), but O'Connor also plays up to the fact that her character could be good or evil, simply because all of the adults disbelieving younger characters with legitimate fears can be viewed as potential baddies in a movie series that has shown how far things can be affected by the fear of fear itself. Then we have Mae Whitman and Johnny Simmons as two patients, the former unable to stop her habit of cutting herself and the latter suffering from OCD relating to hygiene. They both stand out, making the film much more enjoyable than it otherwise would have been. The same, sadly, can't be said for Christine Griffith, Michael Graziadei, Lesli Margherita, or any of the others that I may have already forgotten. Cohen does okay, but he's not onscreen long enough to make much of an impression either way.

If, like me, you never thought of checking out the sequels to the awful Boogeyman then it may be worth reconsidering your stance. You're not missing out on too much if you never watch this movie, but it's an easygoing bit of entertainment if you have 90 minutes to fill and you're in the mood for something undemanding and gory.


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