The Boy (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


MV5BMTc1MjcxNzcwMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTE0NTE2NzE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_When a new nanny arrives at the Heelshire home, Greta Evans discovers she won’t be taking care of any ordinary child. In this case, Brahms, a doll that the Heelshires believe is their son. Soon after they leave, Greta begins to suspect that Brahms isn’t just a doll and soon questions her sanity as to believe that Brahms is really alive. The film is directed by William Brent Bell and stars ‘The Walking Dead‘s own Lauren Cohen and Rupert Evans.

I was a little curious going into ‘The Boy‘ because I thought the trailer peaked my interest with the idea of a doll being disguised as someone’s own child. Then another part of me went into the movie thinking that this would end up like all doll films. After viewing the film all of my expectations came true, however, a twist followed that I’m not sure if I saw coming or not. It was nice to see Lauren Cohen be in a horror film; especially from her successes on television. The one thing that I thought worked well was her character and how she wasn’t written as your typical go against the rules idiot. There were times she grew attached to Brahms and could relate to the family’s loss when Brahms died in a fire. Then there were other times when she didn’t know how to approach the whole situation seeing as how she’s interacting with a doll and not a real person.

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One of the few positives I’ll give was how the movie looked. Having that old Victorian home and the interior design gave the movie that edginess feel. And props to the creators of the doll and how they made Brahms seem so real from what he looked like in character form. The parents, played by Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle, were great as they tended to Brahms and nurtured him as if he were still alive. And the normalcy they were to the situation made you feel for them in some way. This again would tie nicely with Cohen’s character of Greta when she relates her story to Brahms.

At this point in the review is where things go downhill. Going into the movie I had mentioned that I may or may not have expected something to happen. Believe it or not, when the twist is revealed at the end, my gut feeling was right. And for a second your like oh this works and it caught me off guard. But the next second your disappointed because the twist isn’t executed effectively as it should have. And after thinking about it more after leaving the theater you wish to think maybe they should’ve gone away with the twist altogether. And if I continue on with my explanation things will get spoiled so it will be left at that.

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We must mention Rupert Evans as the Heelshire’s grocery man, Malcolm. He was decent and had good chemistry with Lauren Cohen. He may not have had a major role but his curiosity and intrigue in the story behind Brahms helped to give Greta better insight into what may actually be taking place. Surprisingly enough, the movie doesn’t go outside of the home very much. One of the possible reasons being that it was on a low budget of $10 million*. And by having a PG-13 rating the studio is sure to get more of a return on investment as the movie is clearly targeted for the younger audience.

In the end, ‘The Boy‘ struggles to identify whether it wants to be a horror film or a straight up thriller. With the twist at the end it becomes more clear that the movie was confused in what it actually wanted to be. There are some genuine jumps here and there but primarily it’s left to the imagination as to whether or not Brahms is real or not. And for the first two-thirds of the movie it was effective but then it falls into cliche territory with not much explained.

Rating: 5/10

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What do you guys think? Do you plan to watch ‘The Boy‘? Comment below and share your thoughts.

*Source: Box Office Mojo

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