‘The Boogeyman’ (2023) Summary & Ending Explained: What Happens To Sadie And Sawyer?

We have yet another adaptation of Stephen King’s The Boogeyman, and maybe some of us are starting to get tired. Don’t get us wrong, a lot of Rob Savage’s films work, but it would’ve been interesting to see something entirely new, perhaps (even though it is the season of reboots, remakes, and re-adaptations; name it, and it’s there). There is something lurking in the dark, under your bed, or in your closet, but the Harpers are riddled with more trouble than just that. They’ve just lost a family member, the mother, in an accident. This popcorn horror has many dark moments and is a slow-burn horror that follows a similar path to last year’s Smile, but the characters are what make The Boogeyman a decent pitch against the dozens that have come before. Although the scares aren’t many or very powerful, it is still a light watch that can be your weekend horror choice!

Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘The Boogeyman’?

In a nursery, a baby cries out, and the door cracks open. The camera zooms in on a picture of a family as the baby starts howling in fear until we see blood spatter across the photograph. The scene cuts to a girl opening a closet door and picking up a dress for herself. The dress belonged to her mother, who died recently in an accident. Sadie has a younger sister named Sawyer, who sleeps in a dark room with a moon-shaped light because she’s afraid of the dark. Their dad, Will, is a therapist, and a little while after the kids head to school, he opens the doors to his patients.

A man named Lester Billings shows up unannounced soon after with a request to be seen by Will. After some reluctance, Will gives Lester a bunch of paperwork to fill out before he begins the session. He also mentions that he’s recording the session, and Lester is okay with all the details because he just wants to get his story out of the way. Soon we learn that Lester had lost his three children consecutively—one baby from disease and, later, two of his older children back-to-back. Lester is the man from that picture we saw in the first shot of the film. He tells Will that he is being blamed for the murders of his children, but he knows what it is. Lester shows Will a drawing one of his kids had made of the entity that supposedly killed them, and Will pretends to believe him. He quickly steps out of the room and calls 911 to help him out.

At the same time, Sadie has returned home because she had a bad day at school as the “grieving” girl that people either pity or hate. One of her “friends” made her spill something on herself, so she’s going around doing her business, putting the clothes in the machine before she feels somebody lurking. She thinks it’s her dad and follows the sounds until she’s in her mother’s studio. The closet door is closed, and Sadie hears some loud banging in there that sounds like someone is fighting. She opens the closet door, and from behind her comes Will to ask her if she’s okay. He turns on the closet lights, and they quickly see Lester’s body hanging by his neck on the back of the door. Sadie is shocked by the view and screams.

It doesn’t matter that Will is a therapist, Sadie just wants to talk to her father, but he’s failing to deal with his own trauma so he refuses to speak to her about his wife. Of course, our great entity is quick to latch onto families like this, where the kids can easily be messed with. Sawyer, on the other hand, begins to see something in her room immediately after the incident with Lester. The girls even go to therapy to talk about their mother and for Sawyer to get over her fear of the dark. Sadie and Sawyer’s relationship is an absolute treasure, and their closeness is what keeps them going. Sadie finds the recording of Lester’s session and the drawing of the entity, beginning to believe Sawyer’s words.

Sadie’s next move is to meet the only remaining Billings member, Rita. She asks her friend to drive her there and immediately regrets it when Rita starts shooting at something behind Sadie. Sadie quickly gets out of there, but she finds out that the entity is called the Boogeyman, and her family may be in grave danger. She spends a big chunk of the rest of the film trying to explain to her father that whatever Sawyer is seeing is real. Of course, Will is an absent parent because he’s still grieving the loss of his wife. Sadie’s friends come over to make amends after the incident at school and because her best friend Bethany is trying to make things better for her. That ends up being disastrous because Sadie finds her mother’s marijuana, which they all share, after which they want to visit the closet where Lester died. The girls pull a prank on her and shut the door, saying it’s to make her “face her fears,” but Sadie sees the Boogeyman in the room. She slaps one of the girls, and they all leave in a fit of rage. When Will is trying to understand everything happening with Sadie, Sawyer gets caught by the Boogeyman, who almost kills her.

‘The Boogeyman’ Ending, Explained: How Did Sadie And Sawyer Kill The Boogeyman?

Even after seeing Sawyer lying unconscious on the floor, Will can’t believe there’s something haunting them. In the hospital, Sadie tries to explain it to him when Will begins to open up about their mother, but it’s a big fail again, and Sadie leaves to go see Rita. Rita has planned an entire ruse to kill the Boogeyman once and for all, but she needs bait first. She ties up Sadie inside the room and blows out all the candles. We’ve somehow gathered that the Boogeyman doesn’t like light very much (although when Sawyer got taken, she was in front of a bright TV screen, much brighter than the lights from a candle, but sure). Rita’s elaborate trap seems to be working when the Boogeyman gets caught in it, and Rita is able to shoot him, but he gets back up and kills Rita. Fortunately, Sadie has managed to untie herself and get out of the house. Will calls from the house, wondering where she is, but before she can warn him, he gets grabbed himself. Sawyer manages to hide in a closet with some LED lights, and Sadie rushes home to fight the Boogeyman.

Will is severely injured, but together the girls put up a brave front. Sadie gets pushed onto the floor by the Boogeyman, and her soul is almost sucked out of her body by some creepy little hands coming out of his mouth, but finally, Will stabs the Boogeyman in the face. Sadie’s lights go off, and Will lights up the girls’ mother’s pocket lighter as they all huddle around it. They think that the lighter fluid is over until the flame burns brighter than ever. Sadie knows that it’s her mom helping her, and with the help of an intelligent Sawyer tries to torch the Boogeyman using a spray. The spray runs out, and finally, Sawyer finds some oil in the room, which she douses him with. The flame engulfs the whole basement and the black stuff that has taken over their whole house. They narrowly escape the burning house with Will’s broken leg and watch their mother’s memories get burned away just like that. Through all of this, they’re able to say goodbye to her and accept her departure. In the end, we see all three of them with the therapist, and this time it is Will doing the talking. He talks about being afraid because he never expected to have to do the “family thing” all by himself. But he knows now that he was wrong, and the girls would’ve always helped him figure things out along the way (listen to your children, people!).

What Is The Boogeyman Lore In This Version?

Similar to the entity in Smile, the Boogeyman prevails in misery and latches onto those who are unable to face their traumas. Sadness and loneliness are key elements of victimization in such films. But the question everyone’s asking is, “Is the Boogeyman returning? Well, in the last scene of the film, we see Sadie go back into the therapist’s office because she calls out to Sadie. When Sadie goes in, nobody is there, but a door is ajar. Sadie peeks into the door before the therapist appears from behind her, asking if she needs anything. Sadie answers no but closes the door, meaning she is closing the chapter for good. This doesn’t hint at Chapter 2 per se, but rather a refusal on Sadie’s part to let the monster in ever again. She and her family have come out stronger. But the Boogeyman in this version lives in misery, which is prevalent in the world, so why not see possibilities for another family to face their fears next time around? As we know, the Boogeyman has been around for centuries, according to Rita; she even mentions that he’s as old as time itself, so the Boogeyman will always be around.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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