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THE BOOGEYMAN (2023)

"Stay in the Light"

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What You Need To Know:

THE BOOGEYMAN is a horror movie loosely based on Stephen King’s short story about a man haunted by a monster with supernatural powers. This time, however, it’s a psychotherapist’s own two daughters being haunted by the creature, not the man who’s had three children killed by it. Will Harper doesn’t believe his younger daughter, Sawyer’s, stories about a monster hiding in her closet. However, as the monster’s attacks increase, Will’s teenage daughter, Sadie, starts to investigate the creature’s previous attacks on the family of a man who allegedly committed suicide.

THE BOOGEYMAN turns the twisty Stephen King story into an ordinary scary monster movie, but it provides plenty of scares and an exciting finish. The acting is pretty good. THE BOOGEYMAN has a pro-family worldview, but it has no faith elements. The evil monster lives in darkness, and is afraid of the light. However, the monster’s supernatural abilities to affect lights from afar are unexplained and inconsistent. THE BOOGEYMAN has some strong obscenities and profanities, scary scenes with children in danger, and a scene where teenage girls smoke an old marijuana cigarette.

Content:

(BB, C, CapCap, Ho, LL, VV, S, A, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral, pro-family worldview with redemptive elements where a family works together to defeat an evil monster with unexplained supernatural powers to blow out candles and affect lights and suddenly close doors from afar, but the evil monster lives in darkness and is afraid of the light, plus father runs his own office from home and there’s a brief scene where a therapist talks to a young lesbian woman about her girlfriend

Foul Language:
13 obscenities (including one “f” word said to the monster, several “s” words and an SOB), one Jesus profanity, one GD profanity, and five light profanities

Violence:
Strong scary violence such as monster jumps out and attacks people (including a young girl and a teenage girl), monster lifts little girl and throws her against the TV screen in one scene, booby trap fires rounds of shotgun shells at monster, woman fires other shotgun rounds at monster, woman ties up teenager girl and uses her as bait for the monster, character burns to death, implied suicide, scary sounds of monster in closets and dark rooms, scary sounds of monster fighting someone in another room, character use lighter and hairspray as a small flame thrower, teenage girl slaps another teenage girl for being obnoxious, etc.

Sex:
No sex scenes, but there’s a brief scene where a therapist talks to a young lesbian woman about her girlfriend

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Teenage girls ask teenage heroine if there’s any alcohol in her house but she says her father’s not much of a drinker

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No tobacco smoking, but high school girls share an old marijuana cigarette from the teenage heroine’s late mother; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Teenage heroine is upset with her widowed father because she says he never takes her seriously, and father talks about his struggles to take care of the family after his wife and their two children’s mother dies.

More Detail:

THE BOOGEYMAN is a horror movie loosely based on Stephen King’s short story about a family man haunted by a monster with supernatural powers, but this time it’s a psychotherapist’s own two daughters haunted by the creature, not the man who’s had three children killed by it. Though THE BOOGEYMAN turns the twisty Stephen King story into an ordinary scary monster movie, it has a thrilling ending with a pro-family theme, but it’s marred by strong foul language, many scary scenes with children in danger, and a scene where teenage girls smoke an old marijuana cigarette.

The movie opens with the therapist, Will Harper’s, younger daughter, Sawyer, having a scary encounter with a monster from her closet. He tells her it’s just a nightmare.

The next day, Will, takes Sawyer and her teenage sister, Sadie, to school for the first time after their mother’s accidental death. Sadie wears one of her mother’s dresses and gets into an argument with another girl at school. The girl spills a drink all over the dress, so Sadie leaves school and walks home.

Meanwhile, her father finishes a brief session with a young lesbian woman having trouble with her girlfriend. A man named Lester Billings enters Will’s office without an appointment. Reluctantly, Will starts a session with Lester, but Lester says a monster in the closet killed two of his children after his first child suffered a crib death, Lester says he saw the monster kill the third child and shows Will a picture of it he drew.

Will excuses himself, saying he has to use the bathroom, but he’s actually calling 9-1-1 on Lester in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Lester leaves the office and explores the upstairs. Sadie, who’s putting her mother’s dirty dress into the washer, doesn’t see him. Upstairs, however, she slips on some blood coming from under the door of her mother’s old study, which she used to paint. She hears noises and opens the door, only to find Lester’s dead body, an apparent victim of suicide.

As the scary attacks of the monster from Sawyer’s closet continue, Sadie starts to investigate Lester’s story. She surmises that, in ancient times, early man used fire to keep the monster away, because it thrives in the dark.

Eventually, a showdown occurs between the monster and the Harper family.

Stephen King’s short story “The Boogeyman” has a surprise twist ending that resembles a TWILIGHT ZONE episode. There’s no twist ending to THE BOOGEYMAN, however. It’s a simple monster movie that relies on scares from the dark. The monster’s supernatural powers to suddenly shut doors or turn out lights or candles from afar are not explained and seem a bit inconsistent. Also, the movie’s characters seem to like sitting in dark rooms a lot, even after the monster starts showing up more frequently. However, the movie provides plenty of scares and an exciting finish. The acting is also pretty good. In most horror movies, the goal is to banish or kill the evildoer or monster, and THE BOOGEYMAN manages to have scenes that try to do both.

THE BOOGEYMAN has a pro-family worldview, but it has no overt faith elements. The monster lives in darkness, though, and is afraid of the light. So, the goal of the good guys is to use light and fire to stop it. However, THE BOOGEYMAN has one “f” word, several other obscenities, two strong profanities, many scary scenes with children in danger, and a scene where several teenage girls share an old marijuana cigarette. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.