“It’s the thing that comes for your kid when you’re not paying attention.” At the heart of The Boogeyman (2023) lies an iteration of the lack of the comfortable shapes and contours of parental caregiving. The Harper family is observed as they cope with a dreadful loss– a loss that inevitably results in a series of push and pull within the small family. The film also reflects how monsters develop from relatively direct expositions of trauma and grief.
The cinematic adaptation of ‘The Boogeyman’ is one that lacks the backdrop of the Billings family. In fact, unlike the original short story by Stephen King, the family in focus is that of the therapist, and not Billings’.
The Boogeyman (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
At a time when the Harper family is reeling from the shock of the sudden death of Mara Harper, a stranger announces himself uninvited, dragging even more ruination for the family. The stranger, Lester Billings, has come to talk to Dr. Will Harper after coming across the news of the death of his wife. Despite Will’s clear objection to entertaining anyone without an appointment, Lester ominously alludes to the grave repercussions of such a protestation. Therefore, Will obliges.
Lester settles himself down, even if uncomfortably, and begins by recounting the death of his daughters. He says his first child died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, the next two kids died within a year of the death of the first child from unnatural causes. Lester explains that since the death of the first child pulled them into the vortex of trauma, they had practically no time to pay attention to the other two children. This was an invitation to the ‘shadow man.’ Lester regrets not reading into the hints that his children tried to give them about being tormented by the figure.
Will gets up to call the police surreptitiously, but Lester slips out of his chamber and goes to Mara’s studio, where she is found dead. When the police arrive, Sadie tells them that the man is not alone in the closet as she hears him fighting with something before he is found dead. At night, Sawyer, who cannot sleep without lights, sees the Boogeyman under her bed. She asks Sadie for help, but the latter ignores her concerns, attributing it to her nightmare. Later, when Sadie attempts to remove Sawyer’s loose tooth by fastening one end of a thread to her tooth and the other to the doorknob, some unknown force shuts the door, frightening the sisters.
Since Will is not ready to open up to his daughters about his wife’s death, the sisters are taken to visit a therapist. The therapy session was traumatizing for Sawyer. Will is called down to finally stand by his daughters but refuses to join.
What happens at the Billings house?
Sadie finds Lester’s therapy session recording from her father’s office. She also finds an impression of the sketch of the Boogeyman. With the help of her friend, she goes to the Billings’ house, where she finds Lester’s wife. Lester’s wife says that the Boogeyman must have latched on to the sisters as their collective vulnerable state is perfect for nurturing the evil entity. Sadie finds the entrance to the rooms lit up, even if scantily, by candles. Lester’s wife senses the Boogeyman arriving and asks Sadie to stay still. She shoots it, and Sadie runs away.
When does Sadie start believing in the Boogeyman?
Sadie has been dismissive of the presence of the Boogeyman from the beginning. One night, Sadie smokes a joint with her friends at her home. However, a bout of cough debilitates her. When she goes to the washroom to take it all out, she belches out Sawyer’s fallen tooth from her mouth. Later, her friends coax her into leading them to her mother’s studio to show them the spot where Lester died. They lock Sadie inside the closet and make fun of her. In the dark, Sadie finally comes face to face with the Boogeyman.
The Boogeyman then makes its way downstairs and attacks Sawyer, tossing and throwing her across the room. Sawyer wakes up at the hospital. Here, Sadie finally consoles her sister by saying, “I believe you.” Within minutes, Sadie receives a phone call from Lester’s wife asking her to come over and help her get rid of the monster. Sadie also confronts Will to finally talk about the monster, but Will does not believe her. He instead accuses her of being high and delusional.
Can Lester’s wife kill the Boogeyman?
Sadie arrives at the Billings’ for the second time– this time on Rita Billing’s request. Rita has set up spring-loaded firing pins to trap the monster. They are loaded with live rounds. When Sadie asks her if she will be able to kill it, Rita grabs her from behind and ties her up against a wall with a zip tie. Although the manner in which she does this is rough, she asks Sadie to trust her as she needs someone to draw the monster out. When the Boogeyman arrives, the monster puts out all the candles.
First, it does get caught in the cable that has been spread out, so it gets injured by the loaded guns. However, it gets injured momentarily. When Rita proceeds to check on it, the Boogeyman thrusts her without notice and kills her. Sadie somehow manages to free herself and runs out of the house.
The Boogeyman (2023) Movie Ending Explained:
Can Will save his daughters?
Sadie calls Will frantically and asks him to take shelter somewhere that is guarded by sufficient light and people. She pleads with him not to take Sawyer inside their house. However, Will does not get enough time to take her advice as he gets pulled inside the house. Sadie arrives at her house and finds it exactly in the same condition as the Billings’ house, with mysterious creepers covering their ceiling.
She finds Sawyer hiding in a closet. Sawyer finds out that the monster is averse to the light. Sadie believes that since the monster has the capacity to bleed, hurting in order to stop it is not a far-fetched idea. In the basement, the sisters find the monster preparing to devour their father. Things turn violent for the sisters, and Sadie is almost killed before Will plunges a sharp object into the monster. But the monster is not dead yet.
Sawyer has been protecting herself from the monster by wrapping herself with a string of lights. She becomes prone to the Boogeyman’s attack when the light snaps in the dark. Will comes to their rescue with his wife’s lighter. The girl finally sets the monster ablaze. However, that fire engulfs the whole house.
Ultimately, Will accompanies his daughters to therapy with a promise to be their rock.