Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

The Boogeyman

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Monster movie has decent scares, sympathetic characters.

Movie PG-13 2023 98 minutes
The Boogeyman Movie Poster: Looking down some old, wooden stairs into a dark basement, with two small glowing dots staring back

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

My ten year old LOVED it

The movie isnt good for kids who get scared really easy, but is really interesting. My 10 year old really enjoyed it so I would say its fine. Has no explicit scenes, its a really good movie
age 14+

Very scary! Not for those who scare easily

“The Boogeyman” was a very good movie. It was well-made and contained a ton of suspense. My son (12) and I were on the edge of our seats. I would compare it to the last season of Stranger Things. I found it stressful to watch because they kept leaving the little girl alone. The movie was somewhat predictable but still terrifying. The kids were brave and how they dealt with the monster was realistic. I would not bring any teen or preteen to this movie unless they can handle true horror. It was very scary. My son loves (mostly pg 13 horror) but he kept saying “oh my god” and was visibly shocked by some of it, as was I. I do like Stephen King and felt the actors and directors did a great job. I was glad the movie showed the family processing grief and I believe the monster was a metaphor for grief. Don’t allow a child who is prone to nightmares or gets easily spooked see this. It will scare ya!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Unlike director Rob Savage's innovative earlier movies, this chiller hits a few too many familiar beats, but its attention to character and emotion -- and a few good scares -- make it worth watching. Based on a 1973 Stephen King short story that was published in his classic Night Shift collection (which also yielded many other movies, including Children of the Corn), The Boogeyman was adapted by A-list screenwriters Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (A Quiet Place), working with Mark Heyman (Black Swan). They've fleshed out a scant story that had just two characters in one location, but they've also leaned on the typical three-act structure of many other ghost/monster movies. (By comparison, a similar monster tale was executed with far more ingenuity in Lights Out.)

But director Savage -- whose excellent Pandemic-era Host made clever use of the panels in a Zoom chat -- still finds ways to make it work. He dives in on the characters' grief, which smoothes over certain logic holes and explains certain behaviors. And he goes all out with some nifty, spooky touches, such as Sawyer kicking her light-up ball down dark hallways to check for monsters. (Blair, in particular, is excellent, bringing some of the same pluck she demonstrated as young Leia Organa in Obi-Wan Kenobi.) All in all, The Boogeyman should please most horror hounds.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate