It is hard to imagine a world without the Boogeyman. In every culture, in every dark corner of the world there exists an original interpretation of a symbol for instilling fear into the hearts of children in order for them to go the fuck to sleep. For instance, in Brazil...the boogeyman is known as the "sack man", or "Homem do Saco". He is a mythical creature who is said to steal little children away in a sack. In many Spanish-speaking countries they call him "el Cucuy". Described as a small human-like creature with glowing red eyes who hides under the beds of little children waiting for an opportunity to pop out and feast on the kid. Pretty fucking terrifying to a little 6-year old...trust me, I know. Namahage is a name that Japanese parents give to a demon-like creature said to warn children to stop being lazy and not to cry. It is no wonder that Japan is one of the most hard-working societies in all the world.
Here in the States we have stuff like the Jersey Devil and Bloody Bones to keep our kids in check. The Jersey Devil being a huge inspiration for many pop cultural legends that have spread everywhere. Some refer to The Blair Witch Project as a film that shows a similarity to the myth of the Jersey Devil, along with the recent film...The Barrens. While Bloody Bones is a southern Boogeyman, also known as Rawhead, whose legend originated in Britain. Rawhead might have been a source of inspiration for Clive Barker's awesomely bad film...Rawhead Rex, written by Barker himself and directed by George Pavlou.
Still, there is a Boogeyman within us all. That scary creature that your parents told you about so that you would be quiet and go the fuck to sleep. There hasn't really been a great example of the more traditional Boogeyman in horror cinema. Most of the "Boogeyman" movies either sucked really bad or were mediocre at best. So, we'll leave you with some other, more iconic, interpretations of the Boogeyman in film.
BAGUL - MR. BOOGIE
There hasn't been too many great examples in recent years of the classic Boogeyman. However, 2012's Sinister proved that you can still make an effective film utilizing some original concepts while interpreting the traditional premise of the Boogeyman. Bagul stands shoulder-to-shoulder among the genre greats, while also delivering some genuine scares all his own.
Tony Todd is a living legend, mostly thanks to his iconic role as The Candyman. In the 1992 film Candyman, Todd displays such an elegant version of the Boogeyman with some terrifying elements that keep his mythical monster primal. It is a perfect example of a Boogeyman coming to life from a seemingly harmless legend. Go ahead...say "Candyman" five times in the mirror. I dare you.
Indisputably one of the genre's most prolific and greatest horror movie Boogeymen, Freddy Krueger seemingly has it all in terms of unlimited genre capabilities. I mean...he feeds off of your nightmares, for chrissakes. He is the quintessential Boogeyman, who not only kills you in your sleep...but also makes fun of you while doing so. Freddy is perhaps the most malevolently charming Boogeyman in the history of horror films and I'm sure his legend will live on for eternity. Probably my personal favorite Boogeyman of all time.
Speaking of quintessential Boogeymen, you cannot discuss the topic without mentioning John Carpenter's contribution to this particular phobia. Michael Myers is something beyond a psychotic human mass murderer. He is simply a Shape. A blank, emotionless killer stalking the streets of Haddonfield on Halloween night. There's not too many things scarier than that.
Laurie Strode: "Was it the Boogeyman?"
Dr. Loomis: "As a matter of fact, it was."
This marks the second time that a Clive Barker story is mentioned on this list and to be completely honest, I only really included it because all that talk about "Bloody Bones" put me in the mood for this cheesy classic from 1986. Rawhead Rex is something more than just your run-of-the-mill Boogeyman. He's a badass heavy metal album cover come to life in search of evil. Good times!
Well...that's about it, Deviants. Who or what is your own scary Boogeyman that has haunted your nightmares for all these years? Let us know in the comments below and face your fears with our Film Phobias all month long!
Thanks for reading,