HOLLYWOOD—What can I say about the latest entry in the horror realm? Hmm, it attempts to play on the old school classic about the mysterious figure in the closet or hiding under the bed, but “The Boogeyman” falls short when it comes to delivering scares to the audience. One of the big issues with the movie is that it teeters in terms of the territory of rather it wants to venture into PG-13 or R.

I will admit I have been an advocate of years that pure horror needs to be rated R because it doesn’t limit you in terms of what you can do, what you can show, what you can say. However, that notion was turned against me when I witnessed the 2002 flick “The Ring.” To this day I think it is one of the most engrossing and intense flick with a twist that wows you. Have I seen many flicks since that one capture that same level of magic? Nope.

The producers and studios decision to market the movie as PG-13 in hopes of getting that younger audience actually hurts the film. Why? A person is going to see a film rather it’s PG-13 or R-rated and when it comes to horror, people, especially those under the age of 17 will find a way to see that movie even if it means dragging their parents or another adult who doesn’t want to see the movie to come along with them.

The movie has a wickedly fun opening, but after that it falters, and picks up a bit near the big climax before the end. The film revolves around sisters Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair) and Sadie (Sophie Thatcher), who are battling with the death of their mother who died unexpectedly in a car crash. Sawyer in specific is suffering from nightmares and both sisters are seeing a therapist to discuss the loss of their mother.

The irony in narrative is their father, Will Harper (Chris Messina), just happens to be a therapist as well. Of course, he couldn’t be impartial if he was to ask his daughters to tell him how they truly feels about the loss of their mother. He throws himself into his work to avoid the grief that his daughters are battling, and it results in a disturbed patient stopping by his home uninvited. As a result that patient, shares some disturbing information before disappearing in the house and being found by Sadie in her mother’s art closet.

This is the beginning of the threat, as the nefarious figure known as ‘The Boogeyman’ starts to stalk and scare Sawyer first and then moves to Sadie. The sisters are looking like they’re spiraling, but when a little child is thrown into a TV, it is obvious something else is transpiring and she’s not just making up a figment in her imagination.

My biggest gripe with this flick is that the mysterious figure is not seen until the big climax (and it is not all that terrifying) and the shots of the flick really frustrates as a spectator. I have seen this done time and time again in horror and it doesn’t work. Yes, the darkness can create a spooky and scary atmosphere, but the viewer needs to be able to see and understand what is going on. When the imagery is so dark you cannot tell what you’re looking at and what is happening, it leaves you frustrated, which is what “The Boogeyman” ends up doing.

The scares are almost non-existent; I maybe got caught off guard once or twice, and that was more a result of the sound used and not what I was seeing. In addition, I didn’t care about any of the characters besides Sadie and Sawyer, which is a good I think, but I wanted just a tinge more with this thriller. I asked myself would my nieces who are 5 and 11 be scared of this movie. My answer was: nope, they might laugh at what was taking place and that tells me everything I need to know about “The Boogeyman.” I’ve seen more scary movies that actually delivered the thrills.