I have to admit that I’m usually very wary of direct to video sequels to films that weren’t exactly box office smash material to begin with. The original film was a typical and predictable mess of a film that didn’t even make use of a better than average cast for this kind of film. It took me by surprise when Boogeyman 2 came out, but I’m a glutton for punishment, so I rented the title mostly because it had Saw franchise star Tobin Bell in it. I ended up halfway liking the feature, and considerably more than the original film. When I saw the chance to review the third entry, I wanted to see if the DVD franchise was heading forward or backwards. Boy, was I pleased to find out that the answer is both.
Audrey (Sanderson) is the daughter of Dr. Allen (Bell) from the second film. She’s trying to deal with his death when she happens upon his journal. There she reads about the Boogeyman and his need for people to believe in him, which gives him power. So what does she do? She tries to get people to believe that it was he who killed the victims of the second film. She gets killed in an apparent suicide, but her roommate and best friend Sarah (Cahill) witnesses the event and is the only one to know it was the Boogeyman who killed her. Of course, she also comes across Dr. Allen’s journal and picks up where Audrey left off. As her friends begin disappearing and she has strange visions of the creature, she begins to understand that she is pretty much to blame. By using her spot on the campus radio station to spread the fear, she ends up feeding the beast. She attempts a noble self sacrifice in the end.
Boogeyman 3 returns to the core creature of the first film. In the second we never really think it was the actual creature, but a killer using the legend to explain away his murders. The supernatural creature of the first film is back now, and he’s much cooler than he was in the first film. The franchise is moving forward by setting up a pretty clever plot. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by saying that the film is breaking any new ground here; in fact, it reminds me a lot of the better Nightmare On Elm Street movies. It’s as predictable as ever, but I found the idea just different enough to give the old traditions some new legs. The creature is better here than in the previous 2 films. He’s pretty creepy here, but has a laugh like Jabba The Hutt.The cast is pretty much your stock characters from any horror film you’ve ever seen, and that’s a flaw here. There was the potential to make this collection of body count applicants a little more than we expect. Still, the conventions are conventions for a reason. They do tend to work. The only standout in the cast is Erin Cahill, who fortunately gets the most screen time as the movie’s heroine. Mimi Michaels looks like a Hilary Clinton clone with about as much acting chops. No joke, she really does look like the former First Kid. The deaths are not particularly original. There is a pretty standard hanging, death by bong that would have made a good Cheech and Chong skit, a trunk stuffing, and the best is a girl who gets stuffed into a dorm clothes dryer after being dragged through the room in about 3 inches of bubbly blood. There is also a good scene after the final credit roll, so stick it out, or just fast forward. It sets up an obvious sequel.
Boogeyman 3 is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This is a pretty average presentation. Black levels are pretty good, which is important because most of this film is dark. Colors are rarely jumping from the screen here. The bloodbath of the clothes dryer scene is about as colorful as the film gets. Otherwise it stays pretty soft and even fuzzy. Lighting is never all that natural, and flesh tones are often distorted by yellow filters. There is an occasional artifact problem, but nothing all that serious. It won’t blow you away at any time, but this image presentation shouldn’t detract much either.
The Dolby Digital 5.0 track is a little unusual these days. I’m not sure why there was no LFE channel here. The score’s not anything dynamic, and the rest of this stuff is pretty much dialog. Expect clear dialog presentation and very minimal ambient effects. It’s all front heavy, but you know what? It never really bothered me. Like the video you can’t always get what you want, but as The Stones remind us over and over again, you do get what you need.
Deleted Scenes: There are just 2 for a little over 2 minutes. You don’t learn anything and there isn’t any additional gore.
Featurettes: There are three pieces that can be played together for an 18 minute feature. Cast and crew talk over the usual inspiration for the story and about the characters. The film was made in Bulgaria, and there is some footage of the cast getting to the country and sightseeing. Some of the death scenes are explored in some detail. Finally there’s a lot here on the creature itself from design to finish. The actor is a pretty creepy guy as well.
Digital Copy: You get a code to download a portable copy of the film.
This isn’t going to keep you awake at night, and it won’t likely be all that memorable down the road. It is better than the previous two and is good for a scare or two. I would have preferred some better acting, but I’m sure this was a pretty low budget film. I’m not sure if there are, as yet, plans to continue, but judging by the film I saw there’s room for another one on my video shelf. Check it out. Give it a chance. It’s not Shakespeare, “It’s creepy, that’s what it is”.