The Boogeyman Digital UHD Review

Disappointing 3.5 Stars

Despite some good performances, this film adaptation of Steven King’s 1973 short story The Boogeyman falls a bit on the dull side.

The Boogeyman (2023)
Released: 02 Jun 2023
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 98 min
Director: Rob Savage
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Cast: Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, Vivien Lyra Blair
Writer(s): Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, Mark Heyman
Plot: Still reeling from the tragic death of their mother, a teenage girl and her younger sister find themselves plagued by a sadistic presence in their house and struggle to get their grieving father to pay attention before it's too late.
IMDB rating: 6.0
MetaScore: 55

Disc Information
Studio: Fox
Distributed By: Disney
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 Hr. 39 Min.
Package Includes: Digital Copy
Case Type: n/a
Disc Type: Other
Region: A
Release Date: 08/29/2023
MSRP: $14.99

The Production: 3/5

The Harper family, sisters Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair) and therapist father Will (Chris Messina) are mourning the loss of their mother. One day, Will, who has his counselling practice at home, invites a seemingly disturbed man, Lester Billings (David Dastmalchian), into his office hoping to help him. Lester is very distraught, telling Will that he feels responsible for the death of his children, for not acting sooner against a creature that killed his children. Fearing that Lester may be a danger to himself or others, Will excuses himself to call the police to come pick up Lester. While the police are searching the home, Sadie finds Lester in a bedroom closet, dead of what is ruled as an apparent suicide. But his death seems to have released that same creature that was haunting his home and killed his children, since both sisters are now having nightmares of something lurking in the house.

The Boogeyman is a run of the mill, creature under the bed horror film, loosely based on a 1973 short story by Steven King, with a screenplay by Scott Beck & Bryan Woods (A Quiet Place) and Mark Heyman (Black Swan)from a screen story by Scott Beck & Bryan Woods, and was directed by Rob Savage (Host, Dashcam). The film relies mostly on jump scares for its horror, but what it lacks is any real backstories to both the Billings and Harper families to give its audience something to root or sympathize for. While the performances are good, particularly Sophie Thatcher, who is developing a reputation as a modern day scream queen with her roles in this film and horror-themed TV shows such as The Exorcist and Yellowjackets. But good performances can’t save what is a rather bland horror film. More surprising is the fact that originally, The Boogeyman was slated as a direct to streaming Hulu exclusive, but based on test audience reactions was moved to a summer theatrical release. Perhaps we saw a different movie.

I viewed The Boogeyman in its entirety on the Apple TV app on a first-gen Apple TV 4K. The movie was then sampled on the following Movies Anywhere retail partners and was available in these formats:

Apple TV: Dolby Vision/HDR10, Dolby Atmos
Movies Anywhere: Dolby Vision/HDR10, Dolby Atmos
Vudu: Dolby Vision/HDR10, Dolby Atmos
Prime Video: HDR10+/HDR10, Dolby Digital+ 5.1

Video: 4/5

3D Rating: NA

The Boogeyman was completed as a 4K digital intermediate and is now available through various digital PVOD retailers in UHD with HDR. I viewed the film on the Apple TV app on an Apple TV 4K first generation device connected to a Denon AVR-X9930H and then connected to an LG C1 OLED display. Apple TV offers the film in 2160p with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 (and possibly HDR10+ but have no way to verify since LG does not support that version of HDR). Eli Born’s cinematography makes good use of light and shadows, and that comes across rather well in this 4K stream. The movie has an overall cool blue tint to it, even making the sunniest of exteriors appear as if it is overcast (despite the bright blue sky). Interiors at the school have a slight green hue, as well. Fine detail is excellent, revealing intricate fabric textures and facial features. Surprisingly, contrast is one of the weak points, where in darker sequences shadows often disappear into the inky blackness much too easily. There is also a light layer of what I assume is artificial film grain visible throughout, and in some shots that grain looks more like digital noise. Sampling the film on various services, the Movies Anywhere app on a Roku Streaming Stick 4K looks very close to how it appeared on the Apple TV app on Apple TV 4K. Vudu is a close third, but much like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, it lost some of its film-like quality, having a slight “video” look to it. Prime Video (which played back in HDR10 since my display does not support HDR10+) appeared somewhat darker than the others on both the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Amazon Firestick 4K and had an even more video look to it, and that was even after making sure the “match framerate” option was turned on.

Audio: 4.5/5

The Dolby Atmos track is quite immersive, especially during the third act. It features a wide front soundstage with excellent stereo separation and active surrounds, with the heights adding to the frights as the creature travels along the ceiling. LFE is excellent, adding some strong emphasis to explosions but also what I assume are breathing sounds of the creature. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout. Of the services I sampled this on, Dolby Atmos is only available on Apple TV, Movies Anywhere, and Vudu.

Special Features: 2/5

Apple TV, Movies Anywhere, and Vudu include the following special features:

Into the Darkness (1080p; 16:01): A fairly standard EPK behind the scenes featurette.

Outtakes (1080p; 1:49): A rather boring gag reel.

Overall: 3.5/5

Despite some good performances, this film adaptation of Steven King’s 1973 short story The Boogeyman falls a bit on the dull side.





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