Based on a true Mexican urban legend about a boogeyman who abducts, & eats, naughty children, I am pleased to report that “Cucuy: The Boogeyman” is a step above the usual Syfy Channel movie. I admit that I’d never heard of a Cucuy before, but after reading about its ghastly history, I’m surprised it’s taking this long to make a movie about it. Although, apparently, Stephen King’s new book is about this same monster.
The story starts like a creepier Disturbia. A troubled teen (Jearnest Corchado) lashes out to protect her sister (Bella Stine) & ends up under house arrest… in the same town where a bunch of kids have gone missing. Her uncle (Brian Krause from the better Charmed) is a cop & he’s preoccupied trying to find the kidnapper. But when our heroine suspects that her odd neighbor might be the culprit, no one believes her. She starts to investigate & without giving anymore away… realizes that its the boogeyman that’s been taking the kids.
While most of the victims are kind of brats (a vain Mean Girl-type, a skateboarding bully), eventually the Cucuy turns on the good guys… and the stakes are raised.
The set up might not be the most original, but the scares work really really well. There’s one scare in particular about selfies that I really liked. The story does take some interesting turns & there’s a ending set in the Cucuy’s lair that is well done.
I wish it was bloodier. Still there are some good effects and most seemed real. The monster itself is practical although it looks like they added some kind of animated fog to him at times. It’s an interesting design that reminds me a little of Leprechaun, but the movie keeps him in the shadows for most of the movie.
The performances are good. Jearnest Corchado is one to watch for sure. Bella Stine is also good & sympathetic as her deaf sister. The sign language was a nice touch. Their mom, who is also on Riverdale, has a couple of good scenes too.
Since it’s Halloween & everyone’s looking for good scary movies that they haven’t seen before, make some pumpkin spice popcorn and check out “Cucuy: The Boogeyman.”