‘The Boogeyman’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Did The Harpers Destroy The Boogeyman?


Inspired by Stephen King’s short story, The Boogeyman is about how a grieving family comes together to fight off a demon. Boogeyman is an imaginary creature who targets children, and that is pretty much how the monster in the film operates. The Harper family struggled to keep themselves together after the loss of Cara in a car accident. Cara’s elder daughter, Sadie, refused to let go of her mother’s belongings and wore one of Cara’s dresses to school. She wanted to hold on to whatever little her mother had left behind. Sadie was always troubled to think about how she never got the chance to bid her mother goodbye. Sadie’s younger sister, Sawyer, was too little to process the loss. But she had developed a fear of darkness and always kept the lights in her room on. After the death of his wife, Will chose not to express the emotional turmoil he was going through, and that created a distance between him and his daughters.

Spoiler Alert

What Was The Connection Between Lester Billings And Boogeyman?

Problems started to arise at the Harper household after Lester Billings’ death. Lester, a middle-aged, grim-looking man, quietly entered Dr. Will’s chamber, begging him for assistance. Lester had read about Will in the newspapers after his wife succumbed in the car accident. Lester believed he needed a therapist who would understand what he was going through, and he was convinced that Will Harper was his guy. The sudden entry of the stranger into his house left Will a little startled, but he decided to help the man nonetheless. Lester began by discussing the consecutive deaths of his children. His little girl died as a result of SIDS, and within a year, his two remaining children passed away as well.

The cause of death was a matter of speculation, but Lester was certain that it was the work of a supernatural element. Lester’s children had warned him about the monster, but he refused to believe them. But that was until he saw a glimpse of the creature. He showed a sketch that his children had drawn, and Will was convinced that the man was a risk. Will interpreted the entire conversation as Lester’s confession to killing his own children. Will called the police, warning them about a stranger in a critical mental state, and in the meantime, Lester Billings had started to walk around his house. According to Lester, the monster attacked children whose parents’ did not pay attention to them. Lester’s children had named the monster Boogeyman.

Did Lester Commit Suicide?

The Boogeyman started to get spooky when Lester left the consultation chamber and walked upstairs. Will did not know that Sadie had returned home, and he was busy talking to the police. Sadie ran away from school that morning after she was laughed at by her peers for wearing her mother’s dress. She was alone upstairs, and she could sense someone loitering around. Sadie slipped on a patch of paint, and she realized that someone was inside her mother’s art studio. The entire room was vandalized, and the last canvas painted by her mother was destroyed. Sadie heard strange noises coming from the closet in the art room. She daringly walked in, and in the darkness of the closet, she found no one inside.

Will rushed into the room after realizing that Lester was missing, and as he was about to tell Sadie about the stranger, he noticed Lester hanging from the closet door. The police interrogated Will, and everyone was convinced that Lester committed suicide because he was guilty of murdering his own children. Sadie was not quite sure about the explanation. She had heard noises from the closet that suggested some sort of tussle was occurring inside, but her opinion was not taken into consideration. After watching The Boogeyman, it becomes obvious that Lester was hunted down by the monster and that it was Lester who had brought the monster into the Harper household.

Who Was Rita Billings?

Sawyer could sense the presence of a dark spirit inside her room, even with all the lights on. She fell from her bed, trying to catch a glimpse of the monster, and ran to her sister for help. Sadie dismissed Sawyer’s monster claim and put her to sleep. The next morning, Sadie and Sawyer discussed their fears with Dr. Weller. As a therapist, Dr. Weller suggested that Sawyer face her fears instead of running away from them. She tried to gradually acclimate Sawyer to the dark room, and the experiment left Sawyer shaken out of fear. She could see the monster in the dark room, and as lame as it sounded, she knew what her eyes saw. Sadie decided to find out more about Lester to understand why his death was affecting her little sister to such an extent. Sadie went to her father’s chamber and played the recording of Lester and her father’s conversation. She also found the notebook Lester had brought along with him. It had the impression of a monster sketched by his children.

Meanwhile, the monster tried to scare off Sawyer by replicating her sister’s voice, but thankfully, Sawyer found her way to Sadie. When Sadie showed Sawyer the sketch, Sawyer admitted that that was the monster she saw in the dark. Sadie found the address of Lester Billings and went to his house to find some clues. The house was abandoned, or so it seemed. A flashlight was fixed on the way to the staircase, and once Sadie climbed the stairs, she started to notice the strange green growth all across the ceiling and the walls. She had noticed a similar growth in her room, and she was all the more intrigued to find out the meaning behind it all. Candles were burning on the floor, and as soon as Sadie opened the closet in the room upstairs, an instant camera took her picture.

A woman stood behind Sadie, and she turned out to be Rita Billings, wife of Lester Billings. Rita had been living alone and laying traps in the house to scare off the monster. She realized that the monster was afraid of fire, and that was why she always kept the candles burning. Once Sadie introduced herself, Rita realized that the monster had followed Lester to the Harper household and had latched onto them. The monster tended to attack grieving souls, and after the tragedy that the Harpers had to live through, they were the perfect targets. While talking to Sadie, Rita attempted to shoot the monster with her gun, and Sadie assumed that the woman was not in her right mind.

How Did Rita Plan On Killing The Monster?

Sadie saw the monster in the closet of her mother’s art studio when she was forcefully locked in by her peers. Bethany was Sadie’s best friend, and she decided that the only way to cheer Sadie up was by having a sleepover at her house. Things started to escalate when Bethany’s friends demanded to see the room where Lester was killed and locked Sadie inside the closet to make her confront her fear. After screaming for her life, the door was opened, and Sadie finally escaped the threat. She was furious and slapped Natalie, guessing that she was the one who came up with the plan. The girls decided to leave after Sadie belittled them. Meanwhile, Sawyer was playing video games in the living room when, suddenly, she could once again feel the presence of the monster. She tried to be brave, but the monster soon attacked her, leaving her injured. Will and Sadie got her admitted to the hospital, and when she woke up, Sadie told her that she, too, had seen the monster. Sawyer had been right all along; the monster was real.

Rita contacted Sadie and asked her to come to her house. Apparently, Rita had found a way to get rid of the Boogeyman. Upon reaching the house, Sadie realized that Rita’s solution involved offering her as bait. Sadie was tied up, and Rita waited for the monster. Once the Boogeyman stepped on the spring-loaded firing pin, it went off, and the monster collapsed on the floor. Rita was convinced that she had successfully killed the monster, but within seconds, the monster bounced off the floor and devoured Rita’s body. Sadie somehow managed to run out of the house, and she called her father, begging him not to enter the house and remain in a public spot. But Will did not pay much attention to her request. As soon as Will entered the house with Sawyer in his arms, the monster attacked them.

Did The Harpers Destroy The Boogeyman?

The house was completely dark when Sadie entered. She could sense that something had gone wrong. Sadie noticed colorful lights in a closet, and as she tried to enter, Sawyer answered from the other side. Sawyer managed to hide inside the closet, and she kept the lights close to her, knowing that the monster was afraid of them. She informed Sadie that the Boogeyman had taken their father to the basement. After the entire Rita incident, Sadie was certain that the monster could be killed. She grabbed hold of her hockey stick and daringly walked into the basement. Sawyer joined her, refusing to stay alone. The basement was completely dark, with web-like growths all around. The monster had created a nest for itself. The Boogeyman was about to suck the life out of Will when his daughters entered the basement. It got distracted and grabbed hold of Sadie. Hands crept out of the monster’s mouth, and it tried to pull Sadie’s soul out of her body. Will grabbed hold of a broken piece of the hockey stick and stabbed the monster.

During The Boogeyman‘s ending, Cara’s lighter protected her family. As the monster neared the family, the lighter in Sadie’s hand glowed to its full flame. Sadie knew that it was her mother who was helping them. Ultimately, Sawyer poured turpentine oil on the monster, and Sadie tossed the lighter in its direction. As the monster burned down, the entire basement caught fire. All of Cara’s belongings were in the basement, and before leaving in haste, Sadie bid her mother one last goodbye.

At the end of the film, Sadie, Sawyer, and Will attend a therapy session together. Will admitted that he made the mistake of being closed-off and not discussing the myriad of emotions he was going through. After the boogeyman incident, he realized that his daughters needed his support more than ever to overcome their grief. Dr. Weller asked Sadie to stay back, but strangely, when she turned around, there was no one in the room. She searched for the monster in her closet, but Dr. Weller interrupted her. It is evident that the doctor had not asked Sadie to stay back, so was it the monster? The ending suggests that Sadie needs time to heal from the grief and trauma, and it seems she is not convinced that the monster was destroyed that night. Of course, it is quite improbable that a creature that has been alive for centuries will suddenly cease to exist.

The Boogeyman can be interpreted as a metaphorical representation of grief and pain. The Billings were grieving the loss of their infant when they believed that the monster entered their family, and the same happened with the Harpers. The monster was a reminder of the aching pain that disturbed all the family members. The basement consisted of all of Cara’s belongings, and that night Sadie was forced to burn everything down. To think of it, the act was a way to recover from the tragedy. To finally let go of the person who was already gone. Burning down the basement was how the Harpers learned to take a step forward. The family could only heal once they were together; after all, one needs nothing more than companionship and the support of their loved ones to cope with a devastating occurrence. The monster in the closet is the physical manifestation of unaddressed grief and trauma, and no matter how unsettling it is, at the end of the day, the only way to get rid of the monster is by facing it.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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