Like Boogeyman 2, the third film is tangentially related to the movie prior to it. It begins with Audrey (Nikki Sanderson), the daughter of Boogeyman 2's Dr. Allen (Tobin Bell), who died in the second film. Audrey is a college student who discovers her father's journal, which hypothesizes that his patients' mere faith in the existence of the Boogeyman could actually make the monster real. By reading this theory, then, the root of belief is planted in Audrey's mind, thus bringing the Boogeyman into reality.
One night, she comes crying to her friend Sarah (Erin Cahill), a fellow student who hosts a campus radio show. Sarah isn't sure what to make of Audrey's hysterical blubbering about a Boogeyman, but she lets her stay in her dorm room until she calms down. Before they know it, rumors of the Boogeyman start to spread like an infection through the dorm, and the monster itself shows up to pick off Sarah's circle of friends one by one. And with each death, belief in the Boogeyman grows, empowering the creature even further.
The End Product
For a series that had such a lackluster beginning, the Boogeyman franchise has turned into solid entertainment -- in part because it has embraced an R-rated horror base rather than the CW-styled supernatural thriller that was the original film, and in part because direct-to-video releases like parts 2 and 3 come with diminished expectations. Boogeyman 3 isn't a great film, but it has moments of clever, gory fun, which is all you can ask for from some movies.
The scripts for both parts 2 and 3 have been unusually creative for films of this sort, each reinventing the Boogeyman mythology with a unique yet plausible twist that still manages to tie in the original movie's storyline. Boogeyman 3's concept of the creature spreading through word of mouth is an intriguing one that doesn't fall into the clichéd "feeding on your fears" plot that plagued the original.
However, the film does trot out its share of clichés, from bleeding walls to the haunted protagonist whose tragic past and prophetic dreams feel superfluous to the story. Also, it's never clear why the creature is isolated in just one dorm (budgetary constraints perhaps?). Furthermore, the series has yet to tap into the full fun and scare potential of the Boogeyman hiding in closets and under beds -- a great take on classic childhood fears that could make for some interesting set pieces.
Still, creature feature director Gary Jones (Mosquito, Spiders) lends a solid veteran presence behind the camera, while the pull of Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures provides decent production value, although the Boogeyman himself, this time played by a flesh-and-blood actor instead of digital effects, is not terribly intimidating. All in all, though, for a movie that will be going straight-to-video, Boogeyman 3 delivers a good value for a $3.99 rental.
- Acting: C+ (Deliver what you expect from a horror movie cast.)
- Direction: C+ (Solid yet unspectacular. Better use of the closet and under-the-bed scares could've helped.)
- Script: B- (A clever expansion of the Boogeyman mythos, despite some clichéd elements.)
- Gore/Effects: B- (It grows in gore to a bloody climax, but the Boogeyman himself elicits few scares.)
- Overall: C+ (Nice entertainment value for the relatively low pice.)
Boogeyman 3 is directed by Gary Jones and is not rated. DVD release date: January 20, 2009.