The Boogeyman Trailer: Stephen King's Terrifying Short Story Gets The Big Screen Treatment

Rob Savage's "The Boogeyman" was once an under-the-radar, feature-length adaptation of a minor Stephen King short story from the author's "Night Shift" collection. Made for the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, the film was slated to premiere on Hulu at some point in 2023. But a well-received test screening in December 2022 changed everything. Factor in an enthusiastic response from King himself and the post-lockdown popularity of horror at the box office, and Fox/Disney would've been foolish to skip a theatrical release.

As was the case with recent hits like "Barbarian" and "M3GAN," "The Boogeyman" isn't star-driven. Though it does have the King pedigree, the story is one of the weaker entries in "Night Shift." Still, that title conjures up all manner of childhood nightmares (some of which have a way of barging their way back into our slumbering subconscious in adulthood). "The Boogeyman" may be an amorphous concept, but the bottom line is that this term unites us in fear.

Also working in the film's favor is director Rob Savage, whose low-budget, seance-scare-flick "Host" caught the eye of critics and horror fans in 2020. Throw in a screenplay credited to the "A Quiet Place" duo of Beck/Woods and "Black Swan" scripter "Mark Heyman," and this sounds like a creepy must-see.

Did these talented folks figure out a way to expand on King's perfunctory yarn? Let's watch the latest trailer, and find out!

The thing that comes for your kids when you're not paying attention

If nothing else, Savage and company have found a way to make the ostensible comfort of a night light utterly terrifying. Who wants to be stuck in a dark room with a blinking red box? How is that supposed to be anything other than psychological torture? That psychiatrist is a sadist!

This appears to be a pretty basic, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night tale, but those have been scaring the bejeebus out of people for centuries. There's nothing particularly novel here, but the older/younger sister dynamic between "Yellowjackets" star Sophie Thatcher and "Bird Box" discovery Vivien Lyra Blair seems natural. Chris Messina looks well-cast as the loving, yet disbelieving dad, while David Dastmalchian gets to deliver the trailer's most chilling line ("It's the thing that comes for your kids when you're not paying attention").

If you know the short story, you might be able to sniff out the twist here, though it's entirely possible this element is a red herring. Regardless, I dig the seeming simplicity: a spooky house, dark bedrooms and nightlights. Bring it on.

"The Boogeyman" creeps into theaters on June 2, 2023.