Okay, want to know what I'm sick of? If you've been around here for a while, you probably already know, but I'll spell it out. It's that "jump" sound effect people rely on when they can't really make you jump. You know, the one that resembles a cross between fingernails on a blackboard and a nuclear cannon. Something like "BLEEEAAANNNNGGGGGG!"
Apparently, the makers of BOOGEYMAN (not a remake of the Uli Lommel film, in case anyone was wondering, but if there's a BOOGEYMAN II, then we've got title problems) were trying to set some sort of a record for the use of this sound effect, little realizing that after a while it just... stops... working.
PEOPLE! You can use ONE OR TWO false scares, but do NOT keep cranking up that sound effect EVERY BLOODY TIME you want to make someone jump! It's only worth having if something is actually HAPPENING! NOT a two-second flashback. NOT a two-second premonition. NOT something darting across the screen that nobody in the film can actually see. NOT a bullshit dream! BLEEANNGGGG! BLEEEAAAANNNNGGG!!! BLEEEEANNNGG!!!! BLEEEEAAAAANNNNNNGGGG!!!!!
Oh, well, the movie itself. It's our "night terrors" formula again--with a variation on the same opening sequence we saw in DARKNESS FALLS and THEY. But it still isn't bad. Gets you interested.
Then there's that midsection where you keep hoping to learn more about the situation but just get BLEEEAAANNNNGGGGed to death. And anybody who can't figure out what's what with the little girl who's hanging around Barry Watson? Puh-leeze.
Still, I guess this isn't for my benefit. I have no doubt that the target PG-13 audience is going to dutifully hit the ceiling throughout the movie and run out of the theatre saying "OMG, that was the scariest thing EVER!" I shouldn't ruin it for them--after all, THEY didn't get a chance to see all the films on MY reference list on the big screen, and they should be allowed some fresh (to them) scares. Not their fault. But I digress.
THEN it actually gets interesting. There are a couple of real surprises (oh, how well one particular jump would have worked if they'd only given it a CHANCE to work. And the last twenty minutes are admittedly rather rockem-sockem, with no lame "twist" ending and no lame "false" ending, either. The film is skillfully made and it displays the commitment of its makers. It's just too bad that they were convinced that the movie needed that many... well, you know...
We're still waiting for the first truly great horror release of 2005, but BOOGEYMAN, for all its flaws, is at least passable in comparison to its competition.
Matinee if you're curious.
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