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Boogeyman 3
cast: Erin Cahill, W.B. Alexander, Matt Rippy, Chuck Hittinger, and George Maguire

director: Gary Jones

90 minutes (15) 2008
widescreen ratio 16:9
Icon DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
When you get to the third instalment in a pretty sub-par series of movies the expectation levels are low. And that is exactly why Boogeyman 3 comes as a bit of surprise; in that it is actually quite decent. The original Boogeyman was a mini box-office success and, whilst the follow-up was panned in most quarters, the makers of this second sequel obviously saw enough potential in the franchise to have another go.

Boogeyman 3 starts with a direct link to its predecessor and picks up the story almost immediately, but whereas Boogeyman 2 focused in on the slashing element of horror the original was more of a supernatural thriller. In the third instalment, director Gary Jones stays true to the first movie's supernatural leanings whilst keeping the continuity going from the second picture. This is commendable, and hooks the viewer immediately as there are links to both of the previous movies.

The plotline is not groundbreaking. Sarah (Erin Cahill) witnesses her friend Audrey's (Nikki Sanderson) murder at the hands of the Boogeyman. However, that clever old Boogeyman has made it look to all bar Sarah as suicide. This leaves the frantic student with an ass of a task to convince all and sundry that the Boogeyman is real and he did indeed murder Audrey. Cue lots of imaginative killing scenes.

The blood count is not too great and keeps to right side of artful as opposed to gratuitous, the latter of which is a common mistake for straight-to-DVD movies. Despite its 15 certificate there is plenty of suspense in Boogeyman 3 and there is one or two jump out of your seat moments.

A common weakness in these types of movies is the character development. The weakness is generally there is no real development of the personalities, and on this score Boogeyman 3 is consistent with its genre cousins. There is simply no characterisation. The bulk of the cast are drilled straight from the quarry of high-school American stereotypes. Where this offering does win is in the clever premise that the more people believe in the Boogeyman the more powerful he becomes. Not entirely original but better than some sort of revenge story. Sometimes evil is just evil.

The direction is well done and understated. There are some jumpy scenes and occasionally I was confused as to what was and wasn't a vision but, in the main, both the cinematography and direction are understated and enjoyable. The whole movie is pretty well done. It is polished enough to make it watchable, the links back to the previous movies in the franchise works and the acting is tolerable. Of course, much of it has been done before, and it feels that Boogeyman 3's makers recognised this and embraced it to ensure that it did not become a millstone around their neck. Instead, they concentrated on making a decent horror flick; and they achieved it.

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