**/**** Image A Sound A Extras C+
starring Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Lucy Lawless
screenplay by Eric Kripke and Juliet Snowden & Stiles White
directed by Stephen Kay
by Walter Chaw Unusually ambitious for a film that seems to have no intention other than to be the celluloid equivalent of Jokey Smurf, Boogeyman is tremendously dislocating at times, even existentially surreal. It posits that a child's worst fears are only conquerable if "faced," leading our hero through the loss of his parents, the rejection of his object choice, and the expulsion from his sanctuary in a children's asylum, until finally he's forced into a situation where he must destroy the totems of his youth to embrace the lonely demystification of his adulthood. There's something really sad going on in Boogeyman: It's about shining a light on the dark corners of the past and vanquishing ghosts, but in the hero's triumph over his nightmares, he casts himself adrift from some of the magic of being a kid.