The Boogeyman (1980) (2024)

The Boogeyman (1980) (1)

The most terrifying nightmare of childhood is about to return!


The Boogeyman is a 1980 horror film directed by Ulli Lommel. It stars Suzanna Love, Nicholas Love, and John Carradine.

After a horrifying incident in her childhood, Lacey — now grown and married with a young son — lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm in relative tranquility. Her brother Willy also lives with them, though he has not spoken a word since the night he stabbed his mother's cruel and abusive lover to death. It seems the past is returning to haunt her, as Lacey begins having nightmares about being tied to a bed and threatened with knives.

At the recommendation of her psychiatrist, Lacey and her husband visit her mother and the house she grew up in. She smashes a mirror when she sees the reflection of her mother's lover approaching in it. This proves to be not the end of her nightmares but merely the beginning of a new one...

The Boogeyman was listed as a video nasty in 1982, but was later re-released in cut form in 1992. It was released uncut in 2000.

A sequel, Boogeyman 2, was made in 1983, starring Suzanna Love reprising her role as Lacey. The premise is Lacey is approached by a group of Hollywood phonies to make a film based on her experiences. The Hollywood crew are subsequently killed — one by one — by the mirror spirit.

Return of the Boogeyman was released in 1994, and supposedly occurs alongside the events of the original (so they can pad things out with old footage recycled as "visions") and involves a psychic being haunted by the mirror man.

Not to be confused with the 2005 film, simply titled Boogeyman (2005) and its sequels, Boogeyman 2 and Boogeyman 3. Also not to be confused with the Stephen King short story of the same name or its 2023 film adaptation.

The first film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The Blank: What the killer is described as, though he's really just a guy with stocking over his head.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • Lacey's mother's boyfriend should not have done that to Willy...
    • Lacey has a dream involving Willy doing this to a woman.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The mirror in the introduction where Lacey witnessed Willy murdering their mother's boyfriend. That somehow stored his spirit, which Lacey accidentally released, or angered by striking at it.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Andy of the beachgoers gets into a car, and gets a spike pushed through the back of his head.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Quite common. Among other things, people die from being hit by an opening drawer and from being trapped by a closing window.
  • Public Domain Feature Films: The first movie regularly turns up when searching for public domain films online, which suggests the copyright expired early after The Jerry Gross Organization went under.
  • Red Herring: Willy's dream sequence and attempted murder, as well as covering up all the mirrors. Turns out he has nothing to do with actually killing anybody in this film.
  • Sequel Hook: The mirror is destroyed but the one shard stuck to the kid's leg glows red implying the killer ghost is still very much active.

Boogeyman 2 has examples of:

  • George Lucas Altered Version: There's a very bizarre DVD edition of the film. The original version of the film wasn't very good by any stretch of the imagination, but it is unanimously preferred over what Lommel claimed was a "Director's Cut". This version consists of cheaply shot footage of Lommel being interrogated by off-camera police officers, and "flashbacks" that are 90% derived from Lommel's 1980 film The Boogeyman, which The Boogeyman 2 was a sequel to. The original version of The Boogeyman 2 did consist of a lot of flashback footage from the first film, but it did have some new content, whereas the 2003 version of The Boogeyman 2 is 90% footage from The Boogeyman, 10% newly filmed content.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: A tooth brush manages to pierce through a man's mouth, somehow.
  • Orwellian Retcon: A strange example. It was established in the first movie that the mirror that holds the evil spirit can combust into flames by applying water to it. The sequel, despite having stock footage that shows those exact events, including the climax where the entire mirror is dumped into a well, that one shard never com-busts, despite being in a swimming pool in that climax!
  • Too Dumb to Live: A woman got pushed and managed to latch her mouth onto the exhaust pipe. Getting away from that has not crossed her mind. No surprise what happens to her then.
The Boogeyman (1980) (2024)


What was in the closet at the end of the Boogeyman? ›

Billings then hears a creepy voice from the closet say "so nice" before the door swings open and the Boogeyman comes out. And if that doesn't get you, King's final line of the story certainly will: "It still held its Dr Harper mask in one rotted, spade-claw hand."

What does the end of the Boogeyman mean? ›

The Boogeyman's Ending Real Meaning Explained

Despite Sadie and her family getting to a much better place, with Will openly talking about the loss of his wife and The Boogeyman seemingly dying in physical form, the film suggests that grief will continue to be prevalent in one's life no matter how much time has passed.

What happened to the mom in the Boogeyman? ›

Therapist Will Harper is struggling to overcome the death of his wife, who died suddenly in a car crash. His daughters, Sadie and Sawyer, are likewise struggling to deal with their mother's passing. One day, a disturbed man called Lester Billings visits Will's office.

Is Dr. Harper the Boogeyman? ›

Some time after these events, the Boogeyman has not yet given up persecuting Lester. Then he disguises himself as a man, taking on the appearance of Dr. Harper, a psychologist to whom Lester, divorced from Rita and now completely mad with grief and terror, asked for advice (it is not clear if the Boogeyman killed Dr.

What is the point of The Boogeyman? ›

The large majority of bogeymen just function to frighten children with potential punishments, and not actually to inflict much damage. The more vicious bogeyman is said to steal the children at night, and even to eat them, or to commit some other violence.

Is The Boogeyman based off a real story? ›

Interestingly, while The Boogeyman isn't based on a true experience, Savage has been influenced by another horror movie and how it used the night as a cover to kill.

What happened to Jessica in the Boogeyman? ›

Jessica, his girlfriend, abruptly shows up and she takes Tim out of the house for a night in a quiet hotel, where she is murdered by the Boogeyman, who spies at her through the closet in the bathroom before dragging her into the bath.

Is there a post-credit scene in the Boogeyman? ›

The Boogeyman Does Not Have A Post-Credits Scene

Viewers can still sit through the credits to see the names of the hundreds of people it took to make the movie and contributed to the favorable rating for The Boogeyman's Rotten Tomatoes score.

Who killed Boogeyman? ›

Boogeyman (2005)
NameCause of deathKiller
CrowCrashed into windshieldTim Jensen
JessicaDragged down bathtub/drownedBoogeyman
Ome MikeWrapped in plastic sheet, dragged into closet, killed (off-screen)
BoogeymanFall back into closet into ethereal pitTim Jensen
2 more rows

What happened to Rita in The Boogeyman? ›

The boogeyman is injured but kills Rita,who frees Sadie before she dies. Meanwhile,Will takes Sawyer home and they are attacked by the Boogeyman. Sadie gets home and finds Sawyer locked in the bedroom,surrounded by blinking Christmas lights to ward off the Boogeyman.

What happened to the baby at the beginning of The Boogeyman? ›

Lester goes on to tell the story of how his first child died suddenly one night, after crying about the boogeyman. The cause of death was determined to be crib . Here, the death of a child in the very beginning at least gives the impression that no one - not the youngest daughter - is safe from the .

What type of father is Lester Billings? ›

TLDR- Lester Billings is an abusive father, who resents and even hates his wife, his children are unwanted, he feels no attachment to them. He is plagued by fears of them growing up wrong, growing up to be like him.

Will there be a Boogeyman 2? ›

The Boogeyman 2 Isn't Happening Yet

Disney and 20th Century have yet to announce plans for The Boogeyman 2, so it is not officially happening at the moment. They moved it from streaming to give it a theatrical release in hopes that it would be a hit and even possibly launch a new horror franchise.

Were the worms real in Boogeyman? ›

For those wondering, The Boogeyman does indeed eat real worms for his WWE stints. In an interview, Marty Wright, who played the character, stated that he was willing to eat other creepy crawlies like maggots, crickets, and roaches.

What was the monster in The Boogeyman? ›

The Boogeyman is the titular main antagonist of the 2023 horror film The Boogeyman, based off the Stephen King short story of the same name. It is a monster of unknown origin that targets and murders entire families, usually ones that have experienced a loss of a family member. For its literary counterpart, see here.

What happened to Jessica in The Boogeyman? ›

Jessica, his girlfriend, abruptly shows up and she takes Tim out of the house for a night in a quiet hotel, where she is murdered by the Boogeyman, who spies at her through the closet in the bathroom before dragging her into the bath.

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