The Boogeyman (2023) Ending Explained: Did the Boogeyman survive the fire?

The Boogeyman Plot Summary

Stephen King’s short story serves as the literary base for The Boogeyman, the latest movie helmed by Rob Savage. The movie saw a theatrical release in the month of June and performed admirably with almost $85 million in gross revenue. Hulu has released the film for its digital streaming platform recently and we have taken this opportunity to present to you this ending explainer for the movie. This article covers all details about the plot and ending of The Boogeyman.

The Boogeyman focuses on the Harper family. William is a psychologist who has his own private practice. He recently lost his wife, Cara, in a terrible car accident, leaving him to look after their two daughters, Sadie and Sawyer, alone. The sisters get on well with each other but Sadie, who is the elder, has trouble processing the grief from her mother’s passing. On the girls’ first day of school after the accident, William hosts an unusual patient at the house. His name is Lester Billings and although he hasn’t had a phone consultation with William before, he pleads to be heard.

William agrees to see him after being moved by his predicament. Lester narrates the horror story that has unfolded in his family’s life over the last few months. We learn that his and his wife Rita’s three children all passed away under bizarre and mysterious circumstances. This revelation makes William uneasy but Lester’s explanation of how these tragedies happened prompts William to phone the authorities.

Lester claims that a demonic creature, who “lives in the shadows,” hunted his kids. As William phones 911, Lester takes off on his own in the house. He ascends the stairs to go into the attic where all of William’s wife’s belongings are kept.

How does The Boogeyman establish its grip on the Harper family?

Unbeknownst to both, Sadie has come back early from school. She hears strange noises coming from the attic and follows them. She screams in horror as Lester’s lifeless body hangs from the ceiling. This tragedy completely changes the complexion of the Harper family’s fortunes.

Gradually, Lester’s “disease” starts spreading around the house, manifesting in the form of black mould. Sawyer is the first one to be haunted by this creature, whom Rita later calls “Boogeyman.” Sawyer already had a fear of monsters and given her age, no one in the house believed her. It is not until Sadie starts experiencing the same incidents that the sisters are convinced of Boogeyman’s presence in the house.

Both sisters frequently see the creature’s image lurking in the shadows, assessing its prey. Sadie’s mind is changed about the creature when she finds Lester’s drawing book in William’s office and hears the conversation between them before William goes away to call the police. She notices the black mould spreading prominently in the dark corners of the house.

Sadie has been isolated at school and has trouble reconnecting with her former best friend Bethany. This makes her even more vulnerable to Boogeyman’s predatory instincts.

Bethany wants to mend relations with Sadie and offers to complete a favour she asks of her. Sadie asks Bethany to drive her to Lester’s house, which is currently an active crime scene. Sadie is shocked to find Rita lurking behind her in the house with a shotgun in her hand. Sadie explains what is happening to her family, which prompts Rita to say that the Boogeyman has already been let in through their doors. Sadie takes a gander around the house which is covered in similar black mould.

The patterns in the Billings residence are more pronounced and show how severely the Boogeyman had infested the family. Rita has lit candles all around the house’s first floor where she continues to live. Rita wants to hunt down the creature that destroyed her family but cannot lure it in. She warns Sadie to remain in light as it is one of Boogeyman’s only weaknesses. All of a sudden, Rita is stopped in her strides and eagerly looks in Sadie’s direction. She asks her to stay still as Boogeyman has followed her into the house. Rita manically shoots her shotgun only for Sadie to scamper out of the house.

She does not tell Bethany anything about the incident. Sadie is clearly shaken up; so is Sawyer, who has numerous encounters with the creature during the nights. William is the only one who remains unaffected and does not believe Sawyer’s claims. Their therapist, Dr. Weller, also rules out any chances of Sawyer telling the truth.

The fateful night that changes everything for the family is a “girls’ night in” as Bethany decides to push Sadie back into normalcy by inviting her group – who do not particularly like Sadie – to her house. While the girls indulge in smoking Cara’s weed in Sadie’s room, she is still reeling from the aftereffects of her last nightmare.

Sadie had dreamed that the boogeyman had inserted its arms into her mouth. She starts coughing vigorously and finds that she has swallowed one of Sawyer’s teeth (that came off earlier in the film when Boogeyman pulled on the string attached to it). This really disorients her but Bethany calms her down.

One of the girls asks to see the place where Lester hung himself. As Sadie shows them the attic, Natalie closes the door on her. The Boogeyman attacks Sadie and Bethany cannot get the door to open. Sadie is livid when they are finally able to break through, slapping Natalie and reprimanding Bethany for concocting with the other girls.

While all of this is happening, Sawyer is visited by Boogeyman. She is playing video games in the dark and is attacked viciously by it. Sawyer falls unconscious as she is hurled across the room by Boogeyman, waking up in a hospital with Sadie by her side. Sadie finally confesses that she believes Sawyer’s claims about the Boogeyman. William is still reeling from what happened and is unable to get a grip on the situation. When he had Cara’s support, William could have afforded to make mistakes. But unfortunately, the situation has rendered him sort of frozen in the moment.

Why does Sadie visit Rita Billings once again?

Sadie gets a call from Rita to come to the house. She has found a way to defeat the creature. In reality, it is a trap as Rita binds Sadie in cuffs and places her in the middle of booby traps that will fire live rounds of ammunition when triggered.

Rita is holding a shotgun and invites Boogeyman to feast on Sadie. It takes the bait and makes its way to the room. As expected, the ammunitions injure the creature and the Boogeyman falls to the ground. The plan seems to have worked as Rita even shoots it to make sure it is dead. Unfortunately for her, the Boogeyman regains its footing and attacks and kills Rita. Sadie is able to free herself and escapes the house. 

She phones William, asking him not to go inside the house. But William, who has Sawyer in his arms, realizes that too late and the Boogeyman takes him hostage in the basement. Sadie rushes home to find Sawyer in her room. The sisters make a plan to use fairy lights wrapped around their bodies to wade off Boogeyman. When they reach the basement, they are horrified to see it feeding off William, who is still alive.

The girls work together to free William but find themselves cornered in an enthralling climactic scene. The last ray of hope for Sadie is a lighter that has a weak fire that is not strong enough to wade it off. However, the fire somehow grows stronger. Sadie sees it as a sign of Cara protecting her family. 

Ending Explained:

Swayer pours kerosene over Boogeyman and Sadie lights it on fire, instantly killing it. As its body is eviscerated in the flames of the fire that engulfs the house, the Harper family make their way out. The incident seems to have brought them closer.

William finally sits with the girls in Weller’s office and accepts his feeling of inadequacy to be a single father to the girls as he always had Cara’s help to deal with problems. The family is more united than ever and ready to face life in a new light. As they are leaving, Dr. Weller calls Sadie back inside.

Sadie is shocked to find the room empty and the door creaks open with ominous music playing in the background. She looks inside the smaller room where it is pitch black with terror. She approaches the door as Dr. Weller finally emerges into the room, asking if Sadie wants anything from her. Sadie closes the door and the screen cuts to black.

The million-dollar question is whether or not the Boogeyman survived the fire. Well, let’s relook at the ending once again. We saw him get eviscerated in the fire at the house to the point of no return. Since we do not know about the creature’s origins, we cannot say for sure if it can take birth again or assume its shape again from scratch. 

Is the Boogeyman still alive?

It is fair to assume that the creature died in the fire at the house. But at the same time, the final scene establishes that something like it is still shadowing the Harper family. Firstly, Weller did not call Sadie back inside as she would not have been surprised to see Sadie in the room and wouldn’t have asked if she wanted anything.

Secondly, we know for a fact that the Boogeyman can mimic the voices of people like faint echoes. If Weller hadn’t called her inside, who else could it be other than the Boogeyman? But there is a catch. 

What is critical to note here is that neither William nor Sawyer heard the voice. They carried on through the door like nothing happened. It was only Sadie who heard the voice, apparently, as William would have at least stopped or waited for her to come back.

So, could the voice have been in Sadie’s imagination? It would be normal for her to experience something like this given what happened in the last few days. But if this is the case, what explains the door opening by itself? There seems to be no way to tell if the Boogeyman survived or if it didn’t. What do you think? If you have an opinion on the ending, let us know in the comments below.


Read More: The Boogeyman – Movie Review

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