The battle between movies going to streaming or theatrical was already pretty heated, even before the pandemic. Once cinemas shut down, many big studios such as Warner Bros sent major blockbusters straight to sites such as HBO Max. The theatrical landscape is still in recovery, but smash-hits such as Avatar 2 and Top Gun 2 have helped the box office recover somewhat.
An even more encouraging success story has been the box office success of mid-budget to low-budget horror movies such as Smile, M3GAN, The Black Phone, The Menu, and Barbarian, as well as micro-budgeted horror movies such as Skinamarink, Terrifier 2, and Winne-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.
It was therefore disappointing to learn then Rob Savage’s adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Boogeyman was initially going straight to Hulu/Disney Plus. That is, until the film received positive test screenings and the author himself intervened. Writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods told the ReelBlend podcast; “They started screening the movie once it was finished and it really started playing through the roof, and it really played the audience like a piano.”
“And it was also Stephen King himself who was kind of like advocating behind the scenes and basically saying like, ‘My feedback on the film is I don’t understand why it’s not in movie theaters.’ And so thank goodness 20th [Century Studios] turned around and decided to put it out in theatres.”
In the adaptation of the short story, David Dastmalchian plays Lester Billings, who in the story enters a psychiatrist’s office and says the boogeyman has killed his three children. The film will pick up from there, focusing on the psychiatrist played by Chris Messina and his two daughters – played by Yellowjackets‘ Sophie Thatcher and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Vivien Lyra Blair.
While we wait for The Boogeyman, check out our guide to the best ghost movies.