A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mr. Boogedy is a 1986 pilot for a TV series that never was released; instead it became an episode of The Magical World of Disney show. Scary family comedy is the theme as a father, mother, sister, and two young brothers move into a haunted house in a town called Lucifer Falls. The ghosts of New England pilgrim settlers haunt the place. Expect eerie unexplained noises, moving toasters, and lots of loud thunder and theatrical lightning. A legend suggests a mean man made a deal with the devil to gain a magic cloak with special powers. The man abducts a woman's son for eternity. Mild scares are suitable for older kids; younger or sensitive kids might find this too creepy.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In MR. BOOGEDY, Carleton Davis (Richard Masur) moves his family and his novelties and magic shop to the ominous-sounding New England town of Lucifer Falls, where the dilapidated house they move into is clearly haunted. The chief ghost is a grump known as Mr. Boogedy, who started life as an early New England settler, William Hanover. According to the story, his unrequited longing to marry a widow named Marian led him to make a deal with the devil and that sealed his fate. He's doomed to forever scare anyone who lives on his old property. When Carleton and wife Eloise (Mimi Kennedy) and their kids Jennifer (Kristy Swanson), Aurie, and Corwin (David Faustino) hear noises and see flying toasters orchestrated by the evil Boogedy, the family teams up to rid the house of the spirit once and for all.
Is it any good?
This is a nearly charmless pilot for a television series someone back in the 1980s was wise enough to veto. The best thing is a brief appearance by the entertaining John Astin (of TV's The Addams Family) as a representative of Lucifer Falls who comes to greet the arriving Corwins, nearly whispering, "I'd like to welcome you to our town and warn you to get out before it's too late." Most other amusing bits have little to do with the actual plot. Carleton loves to scare and trick his wife and kids with joy buzzers, fake barf pads, and plastic fried eggs that squirt you in the eye. He dances with a life-sized rag doll made up of dirty bandages, his "mummy," and pounds the kids with balls that pop out of the reverse-rigged vacuum cleaner nozzle. He's definitely a fun guy even if, overall, Mr. Boogedy isn't.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes ghost stories fun to watch. Do you think such stories are scary? What's the appeal of being scared?
The kids are the first to realize the house has ghosts in Mr. Boogedy. Why do you think the grownups don't believe the kids at first?
The realty company that sold the house is called "Devil May Care" and the town is called "Lucifer Falls." What do you think the filmmakers are trying to tell viewers with those names?
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