Stephen King is best known for writing well-thought-out but terrifying horror stories that will occasionally have you second-guessing a car when you walk past one. The movies adapted from his books usually have audiences on the edge of their seats, and the latest Stephen King book-to-movie adaptation is 1973’s The Boogeyman. Rob Savage, best known for Host and Dashcam, directed the upcoming film. During an interview with Empire, he discussed the project and seemed incredibly proud that he’d created something that terrified its audiences and the original creator.
Stephen King’s short story is set in a psychiatrist’s office. It follows a paranoid and slightly insane-sounding man as he tries to explain the truth behind the strange circumstances surrounding the “murders” of his three children.
His first two children’s deaths were mysterious and unrelated. The only similarities were that both children had been left alone in the rooms and that the closet door, which he was sure he had closed, had been cracked open.
His third child’s death happened after they moved away from their old house while his wife was away caring for her mother, leaving the father and son at home. Unfortunately, whatever had killed the first two children had found the family. The creature attacks his son, and the man, unable to do anything, flees to a 24-hour diner.
Once the man is finished telling his story, the psychologist recommends a second appointment for further discussion. After finding the lobby empty, the man returns and sees something he wasn’t meant to see.
While discussing The Boogeyman, Savage told Empire the production team had to add a little bit extra to the moment after you see the monster for the first time.
“The first time you see the creature, the audience screamed so loud, and then immediately started talking with their neighbour and chattering, that they completely missed the next lines. So we had to recut it and build in 45 seconds of padding, just so they didn’t miss any vital information.”
“I’m a huge jump-scare guy. That’s the most gratifying part, when you see that play with an audience and you can feel them taking the bait, and then you feel the jump landing.”
Despite the alterations that needed to be made to the film, he still seems incredibly proud of the project. “I was worried it’d become a horror story of compromise, but every frame of this movie is the movie I wanted to make.”
The pride became even more evident when he spoke about Stephen King’s reaction to the film.
“We rented out his cinema and screened the movie for him in Maine. I didn’t go because I was terrified that he was going to do a Shining on it and absolutely hate it. But apparently he jumped on numerous occasions, and then sent this lovely, lovely message to everyone who worked on the movie. And the next morning I get an email saying, ‘From Stephen King.’ And he says, ‘Robert, I’m still thinking about your movie the next morning.”