‘The Boogeyman’ Returns: How the Sequel Expands on Stephen King’s Nightmare

What began as a simple horror story by Stephen King has now become a sprawling saga of fear (typical King, eh?). The Boogeyman not only stretches the original short story to its limits but also teases a sequel that will take the nightmare even further. 

In Stephen King’s Night Shift collection, we meet Lester Billings (a brief appearance by David Dastmalchian), a father who tells his therapist Will Harper (Chris Messina) about a “shadow monster” that murdered his three little ones. 

However, the story takes a dark twist when Billings dies soon after, leaving behind a sinister force that invades Harper’s home and targets his own children.

The Boogeyman focuses on the struggle of two sisters, Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair), who try to warn their father about the monster that lurks in the shadows while coping with the loss of their mother. 

Sadie discovers that the beast preys on those who are consumed by grief and have not healed from their wounds, draining them of their life force (dementor vibes?). 

In the end, the family manages to banish the monster by embracing their grief and using the light of their mother’s love to defeat it, but the movie hints that it may not be gone for good (sequel time!).

1. The Shadow Monster Is Not Done with Sadie Yet

‘The Boogeyman’ Returns: How the Sequel Expands on Stephen King’s Nightmare
The Boogeyman (2023)

Will has resisted the idea of therapy for him and his kids, but he soon realizes that his neglect has invited The Boogeyman into their home. 

The Boogeyman is a creature that feeds on the family’s grief and fear after losing their mother. The family consults Dr. Weller, who helps them cope with the emotional void. 

The family seems to be safe from the monster’s clutches as long as they keep their love for each other and their mother alive. However, as they leave the office, Dr. Weller calls Sadie back for something. She walks into the room, but the doctor is nowhere to be seen. 

Only the closet door is slightly open.

The Boogeyman can imitate any voice and lure its prey with familiar sounds. When Sadie sees Dr. Weller enter the room, she realizes that The Boogeyman has been taunting her with his voice. 

The twist echoes the finale of King’s book, where the doctor reveals his true face as The Boogeyman, who has been stalking Lester Billings all along, showing that he was never free from his doom.

2. Stephen King Never Wrote a Sequel to Boogeyman

‘The Boogeyman’ Returns: How the Sequel Expands on Stephen King’s Nightmare
Stephen King

The Boogeyman short story has no sequel from King, but the film offers a spiritual continuation. In the story, Lester Billings meets his end at the hands of Dr. Harper, who is The Boogeyman in disguise. However, he transfers his curse to the Harper family in the film. 

The film’s final scene suggests that The Boogeyman is still lurking around Sadie, looking for another family to torment with his voice and shape-shifting abilities.

The author rarely writes follow-ups to his novels, except for The Dark Tower and The Shining sagas, and never for his short stories. King’s lack of sequels stems from his tendency to leave the story behind once he’s done, though he sometimes links his stories in shared worlds, like the characters in ‘It’ who appear in other books. 

Since he is interested in exploring things that “run in families,” such as with Jack and Danny Torrance in The Shining and Doctor Sleep, he might return to The Boogeyman someday to find out what happened to the Harpers.

3. The Closet of Horrors: The Boogeyman 2 will Explore the Dark Secrets of Dr. Weller

‘The Boogeyman’ Returns: How the Sequel Expands on Stephen King’s Nightmare
The Boogeyman (2023)

The Boogeyman symbolizes grief, and it can strike again in many ways. It can still haunt Sadie until she meets someone else who is grieving, and then it would move on to them. Her friends do not understand her pain after losing her mother, and they mock her. 

What if one of them faces a tragedy and has to deal with the same suffering and fear that Sadie did? What if they had to face The Boogeyman too?

The Boogeyman can also follow Harper’s therapist, Dr. Weller (LisaGay Hamilton), or one of her other grieving patients. Then, The Boogeyman 2 can be made into a series of stories with a different family being terrorized each time. 

Or, it can go back in time and show the Billings family, who had their own encounter with The Boogeyman before.

4. Box Office Numbers Will Decide the Future of the Franchise

The Boogeyman does not have a sequel yet, and there are many reasons for that. 

20th Century and Disney are probably waiting to see how this King adaptation does at the box office since Stephen King’s last story, Knock at the Cabin, did not do well. 

The Boogeyman could become a big franchise if it succeeds as a PG-13 horror movie with good actors, iconic moments, and King’s Midas touch. 

It does not have to follow one of his more famous worlds, like It or The Dark Tower, which gives the cinematographers the creative freedom to experiment more with the nitty-gritty of the world. 

Moreover, since it did not cost much, like Cocaine Bear, it should make its money back and be a hit in theaters and online. Overall, it seems like The Boogeyman could be here to stay.

5. About The Boogeyman

The Boogeyman is a 2023 American supernatural horror film directed by Rob Savage from a screenplay by Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, and Mark Heyman, based on the 1973 short story of the same name by Stephen King. The film stars Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, Vivien Lyra Blair, and David Dastmalchian.

It’s about a psychiatrist, where a man named Lester Billings talks to the doctor about the “murders” of his three young children, describing the events of the past several years. His first two children died mysteriously of apparently unrelated causes when left alone in their bedrooms. The only commonalities were that the children cried “Boogeyman!” before being left alone, and the closet door was ajar after discovering their corpses, even though Billings is certain the door was shut.

The Boogeyman was released in the United States on June 2, 2023, by 20th Century Studios.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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