Things are not going well for poor Sam. It’s her first date at the local skating ring, and she has had her first experience with her time of the month. One of her friends is too open and lacking support. Her new boyfriend will freak out at the sight of blood. And the power to the ring momentarily goes out. But things are only going to get worse.
There is a local myth, an urban legend about the Boogeywoman. The Boogeywoman is a literal man eater, seducing and then devouring young men – but she has an insatiable taste for women on her period. But she is just an urban legend, right?
The Boogeywoman is a short horror film that makes the old feel somewhat new again. I have seen this story before, a good number of times – but the films this reminds me most of are It Follows and Candyman. We have the atmosphere, and even some of the cinematography feels reminiscent, of It Follows. The bright lights that feel borderline neon helping to solidify this image. But the story, the themes of urban legends and even the reveal of the titular character feel very much inspired by Candyman. But, the combination of the two is so seamless and perfectly executed that it honestly felt new.
The Boogeywoman must have been a low budget, but I find that hard to believe. It looks just as good as a number of the films I saw in the cinema just last year. Visually it is gorgeous. I don’t make the It Follows comparison lightly. The sets look great – they’re real and lived in. I feel like I would be able to visit this place this weekend.
The use of lighting, however, adds a sinister layer to it. There is something off about the skating ring. It feels muted and dark, even before the power goes out – like there is something hidden within this very room. It’s also very dirty, it gives off the feeling of foreboding, almost like nobody dares clean it at night for fear that they won’t be alone. Again, not dissimilar from Candyman.
What I will remember most fondly of this film – well, fondly might be the wrong choice – is the film’s use of sound. There is very little music here. When people are on the ring the rolling of the wheels sounds deafening. It’s claustrophobic and has you listening out for anything else that could give away where the Boogeywoman is. When we actually get to the Boogeywoman, what we hear is completely unnatural. There is the sound of stretching rubber as she breathes, like her skin is struggling to hold her inside herself.
An eye blink has a very insectoid clicking sound. With so little effort, it felt like I was in the presence of a monster – and with the short runtime, and ever shorter screen time of said monster, it was the most effective way they could have possibly done this.
This is a much watch for any horror fan. My one gripe is that – ironically despite reminding me of two films that genuinely terrify me – The Boogeywoman never feels scary. It’s unsettling for certain, which for me is enough to carry the film. It’s certainly one of the most effective and well-constructed short films I have seen in quite some time.
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