The Boogeyman (1980) Film Review: Why People Think Some Films Need a Remake

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The Boogeyman is a 1980 slasher film from German director Ulli Lommel. He made some stuff in the eighties that you may have heard about; but, he is more infamous for putting out poor low-budget serial killer movies and straight-to-Netflix zombie films in the last fifteen years. He is also famously responsible for putting out Daniel der Zauberer, a 2.0 rated film on IMDB’s list of the top twenty worst films. Like Uwe Boll, also German, this guy deals with constant critical hatred. I am here to review what is,  in my eyes, his best film. However, after looking at his catalog of films, one would realize that this is not a difficult task to accomplish.

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I found this DVD at a pawn shop for one dollar. It has The Boogeyman and Return of Boogeyman, so I can definitely say I got my money’s worth. I felt like this was a decent little ghost/slasher film. It is fairly bland though. The kills are nothing special and there aren’t really any clever scares. There is one memorable kill where the guy takes a knife through the back out his neck. It comes out of his mouth and his girlfriend’s face gets pushed into it by an unknown force. This was a pretty sweet death, but the originality of this film really ends there.

I expected this film more originality from this film, with the whole haunted mirror idea. The problem is that pieces of this mirror traveling through the world stuck some kid’s shoe, just didn’t do it for me. The ghost in this mirror was also apparently very distractable. He went after  people wherever the reflection shined. So while a piece of glass was stuck to the kid’s shoe as he fished from a dock, the reflection went all the way across the lake and killed people who had nothing to do with the plot. I thought the ghost was pissed at specific people until this scene. Despite this absurdity, there were still a couple early scenes where the mirror idea worked. In the bathroom, for instance, when the girl stabs herself in the throat, the mirror idea makes sense. It just seemed like halfway through the film they needed to find more deaths and ran out of main characters to kill. You  will know what I’m talking about when you see it, because it gets to a point where the whole focus of The Boogeyman changes for about a half an hour.

In the final third of the film, the ghost apparently regains his focus. There are still very strange scenes in the climax. All of the sudden the director becomes artistic and tries to use lighting effects pulled straight from Suspiria. These sudden stylistic decisions don’t make sense when they just randomly appear like this. I also didn’t think the shard of glass that suddenly gained the ability to fly at this point made sense either. So due to the many things that don’t make much sense in this film, I am inclined to give it a 6/10. Despite the negative tone of this review, I still think it is worth seeing. It’s better than most remakes, and does have some rewatchability value to it.

The film is on Amazon. Get it below.

Other films mentioned in this review:

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One thought on “The Boogeyman (1980) Film Review: Why People Think Some Films Need a Remake”

  1. I liked it more than you did. I thought it was a rock-solid slasher/supernatural thriller. Lommel made three goodies — Devonsville Terror, Brainwaves and Boogeyman — and then he went downhill. But I have fond memories of those three chillers.

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