Boogeyman

The boom in arty Japanese horror flicks inspired this tale of a young man (Barry Watson) who as a child saw his father hoovered into the bedroom closet by a demon. The screenplay emphasizes the hero's unhinged mind, adding texture to a razor-thin plot, and raises (but never addresses) teasing questions about guilt, repression, and oedipal desire. Canted angles and a chalky gray blue palette presage danger around every shadowy corner, and the ghost-story-within-the-story is suitably creepy. But the pacing is so deliberate that it cushions the shocks; the end result is more unsettling than frightening. Stephen Kay directed. PG-13, 86 min.

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