Stephen King Brings Terrifying Nightmares To Life In The Boogeyman Trailer

The Boogeyman, an adaptation of a Stephen King short story, will be in theaters on June 2.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

stephen king the boogeyman

Stephen King’s short story “The Boogeyman” has been made into a full-length horror film and the recently released trailer shows that it is not fooling around. While many Stephen King stories have pretty high-concept premises like “what if a hotel was evil?” or “there is a tower at the center of the multiverse, ultimate evil is there, and a cowboy wants to kill it,” The Boogeyman has a simple one. In this case, there is a scary thing in the closet and it kills kids after the lights go out.

As one can see in the trailer, Stephen King’s The Boogeyman begins with a father (Chris Messina) tucking his young daughter (Vivien Lyra Blair) into a curiously well-lit bedroom. The father performs the ritual many viewers will remember from childhood, in which he examines the closet to make sure there are no monsters there, then says goodnight. Then the closet door opens on its own, and Stephen King and The Boogeyman have done it again. 

The Boogeyman was originally intended to be released as a streaming-only film on Hulu, which is really beginning to make a name for itself in original horror films, but recently upgraded to a theatrical release. The last several years have seen a number of low-budget horror films become unexpectedly huge, oftentimes with the aid of viral marketing campaigns like Smile’s inserting eerily grinning people into sports arena audiences, M3GAN’s infectiously weird dance moves, or Barbarian’s demand that viewers keep what happens in the house to themselves.

As such, it seems likely that 20th Century Studios (and its parent company Disney) is hoping that Stephen King’s name recognition and the trailer for The Boogeyman will do the same. For decades now, King has been synonymous with horror around the world, and even a story from literally 50 years ago will draw audiences in. It also helps that The Boogeyman stars a very talented cast, including Yellowjackets’ Sophie Thatcher, Messina, Blair, and Dune’s David Dastmalchian. 

David Dastmalchian

Stephen King originally published The Boogeyman in Cavalier (where he was a regular contributor at the time) in 1973, but the story came to more prominence with the publication of his enormously popular short story collection Night Shift in 1978. It has also been previously adapted for a short film and a stage play. The same story collection contained the original stories that would result in adaptations of Salem’s Lot, Children of the Corn, and The Lawnmower Man (kind of). In short, this new movie (directed by Rob Savage) is in good company. 

The Boogeyman is set to be released in theaters on June 2, after which it will presumably go to streaming on Hulu. In addition to that film, rumor has it that frequent Stephen King adaptor Mike Flanagan is working on a television version of the author’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower. Somewhat notoriously, it was previously adapted into a film starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, which flopped with both audiences and critics. Hopefully, the same thing will not happen to The Boogeyman this time around.