Quick Hit: Never strives to be inventive or new.
There are a whole lot of movies and stories about creepy dolls. I mean, just off the top of my head without much thought I can tell you about Chucky (Child’s Play), Slappy (Goosebumps), Fats (Magic), Annabelle (Annabelle: Creation) – the list goes on and on. So it’s never surprising to me when I see another movie about a creepy doll.
And frankly, The Boy starts off alright. A nanny (Lauren Cohan) gets hired by an older couple to take care of their child. Her first time in the house, she meets the grocer, Malcolm (Rupert Evans), and together they share some flirtatious remarks. And then she finds out that the boy that she was hired to watch, Brahms, is actually just a doll. Creepiness ensues with the doll moving and generally acting badly.
No one can say that The Boy is going to get many points for originality, but I did really like the setting of the story. Having a displaced American woman is another horror cliché, but here it fits, plopping her into the countryside of England (I think it’s England). There’s also a gothic surrealism that surrounds the house that director William Brent Bell uses to his advantage. It’s made especially more disturbing with some of the acting and verbal concessions to the madness that is going on by Brahms’ parents. I thought the set up was good.
But the whole story just goes on for so longgggg. The film only runs 37 minutes, but it still manages to feel overlong and stretched. This probably would have made a terrific twenty minute short, or a good episode to a horror anthology – but at feature length there just wasn’t enough there. Sure, they tried, and included a woman beater from Greta’s (the aforementioned nanny) past, but there was really nothing about him that felt that ominous. Trimming the fat off this movie would have made it much better.
The twist at the end is fine – it’s pretty easy to see coming.
Overall, is The Boy great? No. Is it fine. Yup. So take that as it may – you may love it if you love creepy dolls. I do though, and it still comes across as average. I’m giving it a “C-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"