2005, Movie, PG-13, 86 mins


The bogeyman will bore you if you don't watch out! When Tim Jensen (Barry Watson) was just a little boy, his dad told him a scary story about the bogeyman, whom little Timmy became convinced was lurking in his bedroom closet. And sure enough, one dark night the bogeyman emerged to haul Dad off to who knows where. Tim's mom (Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless, the wife of producer Ron Tapert), convinced that her husband up and abandoned his family, never got over the shock and little Timmy spent years in therapy being assured the bogeyman didn't exist. Fifteen years later, closet-phobic Tim's Thanksgiving weekend with the family of his rich girlfriend, Jessica (Tory Mussett), is rudely interrupted by a nightmare about his mother. Minutes later, Tim's uncle calls to say she's just died and Tim rushes home for the funeral. Encouraged by one of his old therapists, Tim decides to face his fears and spend the night in the desolate family home. Instead, he gets tangled up in a mess of horror clichés. Gauzy curtains and shredded strips of plastic sheeting ripple ominously. Gray-faced ghost kids cluster like pigeons, and Tim finds a stack of missing-child flyers in the backpack of a grave little girl named Franny (Skye McCole Bartusiak). Amid rubber-reality high jinks — Tim walks into a closet in a motel and emerges back at the house... freaky! — and desultory hints that he might be a schizophrenic killer blaming the bogeyman for his own actions, Tim gets reacquainted with childhood friend Kate (Emily Deschanel). They walk up and down a lot of hallways looking fearfully at doorknobs as director Stephen T. Kay (whose credits include the dismal Sylvester Stallone remake of GET CARTER) cranks up the creepy noises, strobelike editing and frenetic tracking shots to no avail. The CGI bogeyman is a real letdown — the really scary thing about this tedious non-starter is that it took three screenwriters to concoct a movie in which nothing happens. One last thought: If you can't spell "bogeyman," you shouldn't make movies about him. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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