Directed by Jeff Betancourt
Written by Brian Sieve
Cinematography by Nelson Cragg
Music by Scott Davidson
Starring: Danielle Savre, Tobin Bell, Renee O’Connor, Matt Cohen, and Chrissy Griffith
2008/93 minutes/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
2.35:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Sony DVD
The direct-to-video sequel BOOGEYMAN 2 is full of surprises. The first surprise may be that it was even made in the first place after the original PG-13 teen-oriented movie was universally panned by critics and horror fans alike. It seemed that the only audience left for a sequel was the tweeners who were probably preoccupied with Hannah Montana and High School Musical instead of a sequel to a mediocre monster movie.
The next surprise is that BOOGEYMAN 2 is not another teen (horror) movie, and instead it is a hard R-rated gore-ridden slasher that resembles HALLOWEEN II, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3, or VISITING HOURS more than the PG-13 dreck that have been littering the video store shelves.
The story follows Henry and Laura, siblings who as children witness the gruesome slaying of their parents by a hooded and cloaked monster. As adults, both are having difficulties dealing with the memories of that fateful night. After finishing a stint in a psych ward dealing with phobias, Henry decides to leave town and urges his sister to commit herself to the institution.
Once Laura check in to the hospital she begins to see visions of the Boogeyman, and while the doctor in charge of the ward, played by Tobin Bell, doubts her, soon Laura and the rest of the psych patients find out that the Boogeyman is on a murderous rampage in the hospital, and using the patients own phobias against them, dispatching each one through more and more grisly means.
What makes BOOGEYMAN 2 so surprisingly entertaining is the straightforward presentation, and liberal amounts of gore and grue peppered with some relatively suspenseful moments. The hospital setting works well, and the patient characters are actually somewhat interesting, especially newcomer Mae Whitman as a cutter who meets an especially gruesome end. Danielle Savre does a nice job as the haunted Laura, and Tobin Bell is perfect as the creepy Dr. Allen, but unfortunately gets a limited amount of screen time.
The effects are well done, and the death scenarios are outlandishly gory, if not at times a little silly. Still, during the latter stalk scenes, there can be found a surprising amount of tension due to first-time director Jeff Betancourt who utilizes his editing skills to keep the killer’s whereabouts a mystery to both the victim and the audience.
Sadly, the script and narrative can’t hold up, and Brian Sieve’s script, like his equally silly “She-Creature,” collapses under its own weight in the final third. The twist ending makes little or no sense, and as is usually the case with sloppy “surprise” endings, the logic of the previous 85 minutes falls apart once the viewer is provided the “shock.”
Still, the surprising fun to be had with BOOGEYMAN 2 makes its story problems worthwhile, and makes this a fun, bloody diversion that echoes the slasher movies of the mid-eighties.
BOOGEYMAN 2 comes creeping on DVD from Sony in a pristine 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture (and a 1.33:1 fullscreen presentation). For a low-budget direct to video movie, the colors, sharpness, and framing of the picture are better than some of the “major” releases. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack does not disappoint either with a great deal of spooky ambient sound creeping through the surrounds at opportune times.
The highlight of the disc extras are the two commentary tracks featuring Betancourt and Sieve, and on the other track, Tobin Bell, Danielle Savre and the movie’s producers. Surprisingly (again, I was surprised), it is the first track with the director and writer which is the most compelling. The duo share stories aplenty about the movie, the cast, and some of the special effects setups that are both interesting and entertaining. The actors and producers track is a little more erratic, with Tobin Bell unfortunately providing very little input.
Along with the commentary tracks is a short mini-feature that includes some storyboards and trailers for other sci-fi and horror movies including “Dragon Wars” and my personal favorite, “Stripper Zombies!”
That BOOGEYMAN 2 is even halfway watchable is a pleasant surprise, and the fact that it is enjoyable and entertaining is even better. Was the taste of the awful original out of your mouth and give BOOGEYMAN 2 a shot. You too just might be surprised.
This Film Features:
Review by Jamie Smith. All Right Reserved. 2008. ©